At 6’1″, 290 pounds, Jaxon Hood isn’t a guy you’ll miss on the football field.
If you’re a fan of the Sun Devils, you’ll be glad you’re rooting for Hood for the next four years, instead of rooting against him, as he looks to strength the Arizona State defense right out of the gate in his freshman year.
Hood was a three-star defensive lineman while at Chandler Hamilton, terrorizing opposing offenses game in and game out for head coach Steve Belles.
Now he gets to do the same for Sun Devil head coach Todd Graham.
So far, Hood has taken to the college football scene pretty well.
“It’s a lot faster tempo, a lot more learning,” Hood said. “The tempo is probably the biggest change.”
The thing I noticed about Hood, by seeing him in just one night practice, is that he’s totally coachable.
Defensive coordinator Paul Randolph is a very hands-on coach, which is a great thing. I noticed how Hood hung on every word and detail in coach Randolph’s teaching and instruction.
Show me a young man who’s willing to be taught, and perfect himself and his game, and I’ll show you someone who is successful, and will continue to be successful in life.
“He’s real encouraging,” Hood said of Randolph. “He says a lot more positive things than negative things, and he coaches with such a high intensity level.”
Coach Graham is all about positivity, respect and winning at Arizona State.
These are things that attracted Hood to Tempe, Ariz., and now he’s totally in and believes in “speaking victory,” as Graham likes to say.
“It’s about perfecting things,” Hood said. “Second chances are fine, but third chances aren’t.”
Hood was an attacker on defense at Hamilton, and he’ll get a chance to do that for Graham at Arizona State, because the Sun Devil defense will also embrace that attack mentality when they’re called to duty.
“The defense is unique in what he’s [Graham] installing,” Hood said. “The main thing is discipline, and we emphasize that in conditioning with different techniques.”
Graham said he’s all about the players, and not necessarily the plays. As big of a talent that Hood is, I can see Graham using him a lot in this base 3-3-5/3-4 defense.
Hood has an incredible bull-rush style he employs, which could be used to great effect this season.
“I just want to help the team as much as I can, so we can have a good, strong season,” Hood said. “I’d like to be freshman All-Conference, but the main thing is that we have a good season.”