Hood enjoys ASU visit

Jaxon Hood has been recruited by the new Arizona State staff for just a few weeks now, yet the coaches have made the most of their limited time pursuing the Chandler Hamilton defensive lineman. Hood, who officially visited Tempe last weekend now has the Sun Devils on a very short list of favorites.

"Even though this wasn't my first time to Arizona State, this was a great visit," Hood said. "In a way it was kind of my first time because I got see some things I didn't see before and they obviously have a whole new staff. The campus has beautiful buildings like the library and great facilities like the bubble. I really like the weight room and the (strength and conditioning) plan they have there."

Another team aspect that made a deep impression on Hood was how the culture at Arizona State is changing.

"I am very impressed with the new staff," Hood acknowledged. "I like the new standards coach Graham is bringing in and how he views life. Things are going to be different under him. Things were pretty loose before and now it's a disciplined program.

"You walk into the building and you have to take your hat and earrings off, you sit up straight in the meetings…coach Graham wants to take ASU to the Rose Bowl and that has me fired up."

Hood was hosted by defensive tackle Corey Adams, who Hood described as: "Another local town kid that could have left home to play college football but stayed…he told me that all the players were buying into the new staff and the new culture. He said that the new workouts are intense and everyone will be in phenomenal condition when they play this fast tempo style."

Speaking of playing style, the Chandler Hamilton defensive lineman got to spend quite a bit of time on his visit talking to defensive line coach, Paul Randolph ("a high energy coach and a very easy person to talk to") about the defensive scheme the Sun Devils will employ in 2012 and his potential role.

"It's a 3-4 defensive scheme where I can play both as a nose tackle but I'm also athletic enough to play a 3-technique defensive tackle (lining up opposite the guard)," Hood explained. "Coach Randolph told me that they are going to run an attack style defense and he said I would be good in that scheme shooting up gaps and making plays. He expects the defense to be running around and making plays and that is right up my alley. I think I fit pretty well in this scheme.

"Coach said that I can play the run, that my arms and legs are fast and strong, and that I have a good change of direction."

The 6-1 290-pound Jaxon Hood has good football pedigree as he is the son of former Arizona Cardinal All-Pro defensive tackle Eric Swan, who according to Hood: "used to tear it up at Sun Devil Stadium when he played." Hood reported weight room marks of 355 lbs. benching, 575 lbs. squatting and 335 lbs. power clean.

The lineman has been often overlooked because his size, but lately has been feeling some validation of his skills with his increased number of scholarship offers and the way he practiced and played in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl game earlier this month against players from all across the nation.

"I have a huge chip on my shoulder and I think my senior film and the way I practiced (for the bowl game) and played in that bowl game really showed people what I'm about," Hood claimed. "I did grow a little bit taller, I'm now 6-1 290. Some schools want me to lose some weight, but I think I can keep that weight and just lean out. We'll see what the coaches want me to do."

Hood committed to Boston College last month, but with visits to Arizona and Arizona State is now considering himself as a soft commit to the Golden Eagles. The lineman also has offers from Tulane, Washington State, Fresno State and Air Force, among others.

With signing day just over a week away, the recruiting picture for Hood is starting to clear up.

"It's down to Boston College and Arizona State," Hood stated. "I still may visit Washington, Michigan State or Tulane this weekend."

Hood listed several factors that will aid him in his decision.

"I just want to go to a place where I fit into the system," Hood said, "a place where I have a good relationship with my position coach. So distance isn't really an issue. I'm going to weigh all my options and go to the place where I think I can do something special.

"My brother (Tevin Hood) told me to go with my gut (feeling) because in the recruiting process your gut will always be right."

Hood is planning to announce his decision live on signing day on Fox Sports Arizona.

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