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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The life of the University of Arizona’s very own hometown hero

Nathanial Stenchever

Stevie Rocker Jr. (23), a freshman on the University of Arizona football team, breaks a big run to the outside of the field and stiff arms a University of Washington defender on Oct. 22 at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats went into halftime up 13-0.

Stevie Rocker Jr. was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. He grew up watching the University of Arizona’s football team and waiting his turn to play Division I football. 

“It is amazing, amazing to see where he has come from at such a young age,” said Rocker’s mother, Sandra Rocker. “He started playing football when he was five and then played tackle at seven. To watch him grow from a child to a young man has been breathtaking because he has had to endure some of his own obstacles.” 

Rocker was a three-time varsity athlete at Canyon Del Oro High School. He was on varsity in track, basketball and football. Throughout his high school football career he went on to get awarded all-conference in his sophomore year and an honorary mention in his junior year.

“Due to [COVID-19], I barely had a season senior year,” Rocker said.

He said he gave it his all in high school to eventually become a Wildcat. Part of his journey was his high school coach, Dustin Peace. 

“He worked hard to help me get recruited; he was constantly reaching out to coaches and was with me every step of the way. I have stayed close with him and recently just stopped by to give his kids University of Arizona football shirts with my last name on them,” Rocker said.

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Rocker joined Arizona’s football team last spring. 

“[Rocker’s] first time on the field as a member of the team was a reflection of his journey because he played on the Wildcat field the first year they got a Jumbotron,” Sandra Rocker said. “He was one of the kids that played at halftime, so it was bittersweet to see how everything turned out, watching him take the field as a collegiate athlete for the first time was very emotional for me.”

Since then, he has grown and trained and went on to play in eleven games. One of the most memorable was against Washington at home. 

“My whole family and a majority of my friends from home were at the game, I had a 52-yard run,” Rocker said. “It was my first real run in a game like that and at the time it was the longest run of the season overall.” 

Rocker went on to have 31 carries for 153 yards and caught seven passes for 59 yards. He is a force to be reckoned with. 

His family is extremely involved in his football career. 

“My family has only missed one game in the entire season last year; it’s nice to have such a strong support system from my parents and friends,” Rocker said. “My parents, my parents’ friends and my high school friends have all been such an amazing support team throughout my journey. I wouldn’t know what to do without them.”

With the upcoming spring season, Rocker is staying extremely busy. He is finding the balance between being a psychology major and the training schedule. 

“We will start training every day until spring ball ends and doing school work is difficult, but I found my rhythm so it’s gotten easier,” he said.

Rocker’s love and desire to go to the NFL is what drives him to continue playing, saying, “Having a chance of making it and changing mine and my family’s life is the best motivation I could possibly have.” 

This upcoming season, keep your eye on Rocker.

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