TEMPE, Ariz. -- As Arizona State defensive tackle Jaxon Hood answered questions Sunday about the Sun Devils pending bowl bid, his massive left bicep displayed an equally large tattoo. Scrawled above a favorite Bible verse are the words "Dark Horse." Above that is a bucking horse with fierce eyes.
"That's me, the dark horse," Hood explained. "People said I couldn't do it, but here I am."
Characterized a year ago as a marginal Division I prospect because of his height (6-feet-0), Hood quickly disproved his doubters by starting all 12 games of his freshman season and earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
"I always like proving people wrong," Hood said. "I don't like people saying what I can and can't do. I wanted to be in control of my own destiny and not let the thoughts or opinions of people who don't even know me or how I work control me. I wasn't going to let them be right about anything."
At 6-foot, Hood...