In 2011, Jake Hoot hugged his teammates after winning the Ohio Valley Conference football championship.
Eight years later, Hoot hugged Kelly Clarkson, three-time Grammy and MTV Music Video Award Winner, after she chose him to be on her team for NBC’s “The Voice.”
“I blacked out when she turned around and I also don’t remember hugging her like I did,” Hoot said, “but yeah the song is only 90 seconds and I felt like it was 15 minutes so when she turned around, I just blacked out.”
Hoot performed “When It Rains It Pours,” a country song by Luke Combs. Clarkson chose Hoot to be a part of her team, making him one of 48 contestants on the show’s 17thseason.
“I love Luke Combs and the song is a high-powered song,” Hoot said, “but I’ve met Luke Combs a couple of times, he’s a great guy and I love his style of country music so that’s what I wanted to do.”
“The Voice” is a reality television singing competition. Clarkson, John Legend, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani serve as coaches throughout the season. Each coach picks members of their team to train and hopefully win the show.
Before Hoot became a team member of “The Voice,” he was a team member of Tech’s football team.
In 2011, Hoot played as a right guard on the Golden Eagle football team and won the OVC championship against Austin Peay State University.
“I just remember after we won everybody rushed the field and I was hugging people I had never even met before,” Hoot said, “and it was really cool to be able to hold that trophy up and celebrate with the rest of the team.”
He currently works for Zimmer Broadcasting, which is home to radio stations: 94.7 The Country Giant, 98.5 KISS-FM, 106.1 The Eagle and 107.7 FM/ 1400 The Hub, as an account executive.
The 31-year-old is from Corpus Christi, Texas, but spent 11 years of his life with his family in the Dominican Republic, Hoot said.
“I’m one of nine kids, my parents were missionaries and I grew up there from about the age of eight or nine to 20 so about 11 years,” Hoot said.
His family started the mission near the Haitian border, but by the end of the mission they had traveled all over the country and found themselves in Santo Domingo, Hoot said.
“It was a great way to grow up,” Hoot said, “I recommend anybody whether they go on mission groups or whatever just to go to another country and kind of see what outside of the U.S. looks like. It definitely gives you an appreciation for what we have here.”
When he was 13-years-old, Hoot said he taught himself how to play guitar while in the Dominican Republic.
“I would play in the car as we drove around and I apologize to the family for having to listen to me,” Hoot said.
For the past six years, his performances take place at local restaurants, bars and breweries, he said.
“It started at 37 Cedar and it wasn’t long after that that I started playing at Spankies,” Hoot said,
“But Spankies I’ve been playing there for a really long time, enough to see a couple graduating classes come and go. That makes me an old man.”
Before he became a part of the show, he released a single on iTunes and Spotify called “Better Off Without You.”
Hoot’s musical journey is scheduled to continue on Clarkson’s “The Voice” team.
“My head has just been spinning, in a good way,” Hoot said, “There are so many incredible things going on here in the community but I am you know, just over the moon excited about everything that is going on.”
NBC’s “The Voice” will continue at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday nights this fall.