The Rock Show is staying home.
Canyon del Oro running back Stevie Rocker Jr. announced on Thursday his commitment to the University of Arizona.
— Stevie Rocker JR (@Srocker22) July 17, 2020
“It means everything to me,” Rocker said of his commitment. “Ever since growing up, I’ve always imagined playing on that football field….being able to stay home, stay close to my family has always been something (I’ve wanted).”
The running back rushed for 1,534 yards and 16 total touchdowns in 16 games over the last two years. In addition to the Wildcats, Rocker holds offers from Nevada, Cal and BYU.
Due to an injury-hampered junior season and an in-flux of commitments earlier in this recruiting cycle due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rocker felt now was the time to make his commitment. Despite battling injuries, Rocker and the Canyon del Oro coaching staff did not see the Wildcats’ recruitment let up.
“His junior year wasn’t super great. He was injured, but U of A still had his back,” Canyon del Oro football coach Dustin Peace said. “They were still confident in his abilities, and that’s very comforting to go to a school. It’s just a matter of time in college where you get banged up, so how are they going to treat you? If they are treating him this way now, I think that’s a positive thing. And I think that’s the reason he felt so comfortable.”
Rocker said he has gained 10 pounds of muscle this offseason and stands at 6-foot, 195 pounds. The additional bulk is a result of working out almost every day.
“He’s looking as good as he ever has and he’s making the gains in the weight room and just physically,” Peace said. “He’s really understood what the work is going to take. Not that he was ever bad (about that), but he’s now at that level that you expect from a kid that’s going to a Pac-12 school.”
After the track season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rocker shifted his focus to getting bigger for his senior year and beyond.
“I love track, I love doing it,” Rocker said. “But it’s something that’s been keeping me from getting my weight to go up. I’ve always been able to maintain the same weight, I’ve never been able to gain it. Without having track, there’s been a positive side to try to start putting on more weight, start putting on that muscle weight.”
The Canyon del Oro running back has also used his time during social distancing and remote learning to work on his art skills. He shows off some of his favorite creations in the video below:
Rocker now continues an impressive history of Southern Arizona running backs. Former Salpointe Catholic star and current Texas Longhorn Bijan Robinson dubbed “The Rock Show” as the next great Tucson running back.
Of course, a running back from Canyon del Oro heading to the University of Arizona will always garner comparisons to Ka’Deem Carey, who was a play maker for the Dorados before becoming and All-American and the Wildcats’ career leading in rushing yards, touchdowns from 2011-13.
“That’s going to happen time and time again,” Peace said. “Stevie’s just a different back (from Ka’Deem), a different kid, a different athlete, body type.”
And Rocker doesn’t feel an added pressure to be the next Ka’Deem Carey but rather help Arizona climb up the Pac-12 ranks.
“I’d rather go in there and try to not worry about trying to build off of Ka’Deem Carey,” Rocker said. “I’d rather build off of myself and grow myself into that program rather than build off of something that’s already been.”
The Wildcats have been productive recruiting Southern Arizona. Rocker joins Jamarye Joiner, Drew Dixon, Rhett Rodriguez, Jacob Meeker-Hackett, Calib McRae and David Watson as Tucson prep players to currently be on Arizona’s roster.