Arizona Football: Chatting with Native Tucsonan RB, Stevie Rocker, Jr.

Oct 22, 2021; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back Stevie Rocker Jr. (23) runs with the ball against the Washington Huskies during the first half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2021; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back Stevie Rocker Jr. (23) runs with the ball against the Washington Huskies during the first half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Following a solid freshman campaign, we got the opportunity to sit down and interview Arizona Football running back and Tucson native Stevie Rocker, Jr. 

Arizona Football sophomore running back Stevie Rocker, Jr. is motivated and preparing for the upcoming 2022 football season. And at Zona Zealots, I joined Shereen Rayan, host of In the Front Row on a podcast to speak with our special guest.

Stevie Rocker Jr. 2021 Info and Freshman Stats  

Jersey: 23

Position: Running Back

Height / Weight:  6-foot-even / 203

Rushing: 31 carries for 153 yards (4.9 yards per carry). Longest rush of 52 yards.

Receiving: 7 receptions for 59 yards (8.4 yards per reception). Longest reception of 18 yards.

Best game: At home against Washington (10/22/21), Rocker had 8 carries for 87 yards (10.9 avg.) with a long rush of 52 yards.

Note: Rocker had 0 fumbles lost, and he prides himself on taking care of the football, possessing excellent ball security skills.

Rocker &  Ka’Deem Carey

Ka’Deem Carey, former Arizona Football All-American Running Back and local Tucsonan is the all-time leading Arizona Football rusher and all-time touchdowns leader. Rocker played with the same Youth Football League, and even went to the same Middle School and same High School (Canyon Del Oro), home the Dorados in Oro Valley as Ka’Deem.

Here is what Rocker had to say about the Legend and their similar path. “Growing up I kind of followed his footsteps without noticing,” he said. “I was basically compared to him from my last season of youth football on. Once I got here, it stepped up, people started to compare a lot.”

“I did see some of his games growing up and I used to come to the games (U of A) all the time actually,” he said. “He was a role model to me growing up. He was a good player. He went to the league (Chicago Bears), still playing good with the Stampeders (CFL) so he obviously knows what he is doing. It’s cool to be compared to him because obviously, he did great stuff at the U of A. But, it’s a lot to look up to because now I want to try to beat those (records)”.

Tell me what it’s like to be from Tucson and wear the Block A

“It’s kind of one of those things as a kid, never really see it happening, growing up I used to come to the games all the time. I used to sit 5 rows up on the 50-yard line, on the visitor’s side. Me and my dad and mom would sit there for almost every game that we went to. But the last game that I ever went to was the last Territorial Cup game that we won that was here. That was the last game that I went to as an actual fan instead of a recruit.”

“After that, I went to games as a recruit. I also did, I think it was the UCLA game when U of A hosted the youth football halftime game. I did that, think I was 8 years old. So, it’s crazy for me to think about that because I played on the field for like 30 minutes when I was super young and thought it was super cool. Now, I’m actually playing full-time games on the field as a Wildcat, it’s a weird thing to look at, but also it’s super cool.”

What are your Team and Personal Goals for 2022?

“Well, team goals, get to a Bowl game. That’s been our goal basically since we started having meetings this week. Having a mindset for ourselves that we are a good team, not bad. We are a good team, we have lots of new good players that came in that can definitely help us make the opportunity happen. Personally, I want to try to work to get a starting position. Hopefully, make an impact and be an impact player to help get us to the Bowl games”.

Talking Off-Season Work-Out Regiment

“Normally, Sunday is a day off because we work out 6 days a week. Sunday is usually a day that we try to rest our bodies. Usually, on days off, watch film, get mental reps, physically, don’t want to tire my body out too much. Since there is a lot of mental game in football, trying to prepare myself mentally for what’s about to happen. The primary off-season winter work-outs, the 6 days a week is weight lifting training led by the Director of Strength & Conditioning, Coach Tyler Owens.”

What are your thoughts on the 2022 Recruiting Class?

“It’s a great class. I talk to a lot of the kids since them being early enrollees too. Me and JT Hand are the two kids that they shape around to ask questions, if anything gets difficult they can talk to us. When the Class of 2021 came we were the only two early enrollees so to jump from two to I think we had twenty come in early this semester it was a different kind of jump, but they’re great kids and definitely great football players too obviously so I’m excited to see what they have for us”.

What is the transition like going from Freshman to Sophomore? 

“The experience, especially me having the opportunity to play like I did, the experience of it is way different. I know a lot of our offense already, so it’s a lot easier for me instead of trying to learn the offense itself and what the play runs. I can just learn on the little stuff, how the footwork is going to work, what the defense is going to look like, what our defense is going to look like since I will be going against them a lot in the spring. What our protection is going to be from the line, a lot more in-depth instead of just learning a play, if a guy is in the gap I run away from this, a lot more in-depth football knowledge to get myself ready.”

On the Running Back Room

“Our coach kind of thrives on us having good communication between all of us. If our running backs room is tied together, everything will be good for us. We always root for each other. Sometimes we will have dinners at Coach Scottie Graham’s house, all of us as a running back room. We eat food, his wife will usually bake for us, we will play different games like Uno or Dominoes, to get to know each other besides football”.

You can watch the full interview here, below.

We would like to thank Stevie for his time, and as always, Bear Down Arizona and GO Cats!

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