January 12, 2012

In-state prospect ready to learn more about UA



Two-star defensive tackle Jaxon Hood committed to Boston College in December, but after a strong showing at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl the Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton recruit earned offers from two in-state schools.

Because of those offers from Arizona and Arizona State and the late attention he's been getting, Hood has decided to take some visits to make sure BC is the place for him. The 6-foot-1 prospect will be in Tucson this weekend for an official visit to meet Rich Rodriguez and the rest of the coaching staff.

"Well I'm visiting there (UA) this weekend, so I'll have a better idea Sunday or Monday," Hood said. "But I like the coaching staff, I also got offered by ASU, and both of those coaching staffs they mean business. I told them both that I was leaning on going out of state, so it's going to have to be really, really impressive for me to stay in state.

"They're doing a pretty good job, but now I just gotta see it for myself."

Hood didn't receive much attention from the Wildcats under the old staff, and he said his family wasn't fond of the old Sun Devils staff, so he decided to look elsewhere and chose BC.

"I really didn't have a reason to stay in state" he said. "I figured I'd go see a different part of the world if these schools aren't really going to recruit me. And I always wanted to see what it would be like to live somewhere else.

"But I'm going to go wherever's best for me, and if these in-state schools are what's best for me then that's where I'm going to go."

Hood had an impressive week at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, and it earned him his UA offer. The defensive tackle said he really made an effort to have a good showing that week and it paid off.

"It was great for me," Hood said. "I always have a huge chip on my shoulder, because I feel like I've been underrated and under-recruited, and I went out there and showed them what was up. I worked hard for that game, I trimmed down a little bit, but I was still coming back from my foot injury so I was playing that game at around 80 percent. But I still got top performer at practice and made some plays in the game, and more than held my own there.

"I felt like there was a huge chip on my shoulder, so I showed up to that game with something to prove."

Hood said that attitude is something he will carry with him to the next level, and it's something he will always have.

"That was the way I was taught to play the sport," he said. "My dad obviously being an all-pro, he had the measurables, but he grew up on a farm and he had a chip on his shoulder to prove that he could be something. So that's just in my blood, and that's always going to be there.

"It doesn't matter if they would give me five stars tomorrow, it wouldn't matter if Oklahoma and Ohio State offered me tomorrow, I would always carry that chip on my shoulder."

Now that Rodriguez has finalized the staff, Hood said he is excited to learn more about the 3-3-5 defense and what his role would be Jeff Casteel's scheme.

"I"m looking forward to it a lot," Hood said. "Most of my defense in high school was read and react, but I would get in trouble for attacking and shooting gaps. So it would be a decent fit for me if the whole defense is attacking gaps. That's a great fit for me, I feel, I'd be able to make a lot of plays and be put in the right position. I'm very excited to learn about that."

Hood doesn't plan on making his decision until he takes all his visits, but he said it's likely he will announce his decision on TV during a signing day special.

"I"m going to go with my gut feeling and what feels right," Hood said. "I'll know after the visits where I want to go, I'll know. Right now the only problem is, I love Boston College. I loved Boston, I loved Chestnut Hill, I loved it all. The biggest issue was that I didn't get to go on any other visits, because of the coaches getting fired at Washington State and other places.

"So I kind of came on to the scene a little late, so all these other offers came a little later as head coaches learned about me. I love Boston College I just don't anywhere to compare it to. So if I go to a place and I don't like it as much as Boston College then I know where I want to go."

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Matt MorenoMatt Moreno
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor

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