Jaxon Hood is no stranger to the rivalry between Arizona State and Arizona.
The Sun Devil defensive tackle was recruited by the University of Arizona, who offered him a scholarship. Hood chose to stay closer to home, and has been a key cog in ASU’s defense, which is ranked second in the Pac-12.
Hood has three sacks and 22 total tackles this season, in which he’s started every game as a true freshman. He can’t wait to get his first taste of playing for the Territorial Cup.
“This is one of the reasons that you stay in-state,” Hood said Tuesday. “You’ve seen how big this rivalry gets — I remember watching the game where James Brooks blocked two kicks and just how exciting that was.
“This is such a big game and there is so much on the line, so I’m very excited.”
Hood has another reason to be excited. His older brother, Tevin, is a sophomore defensive lineman at Arizona. This will be the first time that the Hood brothers have faced each other in any organized sport.
“Besides pretty intense games of backyard football and wrestling and all that stuff, this is the first time we’ve been structured competitively against each other,” Hood said. “We’d play games of football in the backyard, and it would always end in tears and fights, so this will be probably a more controlled thing than what we’re used to.”
So, with a brother behind enemy lines, is there back and forth communcation leading up to the game?
“Not much, we’re just focusing on helping our teams winning the game,” Hood said. “We’ve both been pretty mature about the whole thing. There will be more trash talk after game, but right now we’re just focused on doing our jobs and making sure our teams come out with a win.”