From Arizona Stadium to the Tucson Arena, former UA Linebacker Rashie Hodge, turned IFL defensive back, has become the first and only former Wildcat to suit up for the Old Pueblo’s Indoor Football League, The Tucson Sugar Skulls.

“To have someone from the University of Arizona play on the Tucson Sugar Skulls is big, and then furthermore, to have them excel and maybe have them get some opportunities-is, the reason we have this league,” said Sugar Skulls head coach Hurtis Chinn.

“Most of them will acknowledge me on the field during pregames, say ‘Go U of A’ when they see me out on the field,” Hodge said.

Appearing in 11 games for the Arizona Wildcats in 2021, Hodge recorded 11 tackles during a struggling season for the team-who was adapting to a new head coach, Jedd Fisch, on top of several transfers. 

Following his lone season with Arizona, Hodge was unsuccessful in finding interest from NFL teams, and it was a similar situation when it came to the XFL and Canadian League. 

However, when Hodge received the call from former Tucson head coach and general manager Dixie Wooten to fix his ailing defense, a new glimmer of hope was restored for his athletic career. 

“It just let me know, you know, I have what it takes to keep playing football,” Hodge said.

Since Hodge’s arrival to the Sugar Skulls, he has kept his word in elevating the team’s defense, leading with four interceptions this season-the 6th most in the IFL. 

Most recently, Hodge intercepted former Tucson quarterback Daquan Neal, Vegas Knight Hawks QB, in the end zone with one final moment of the game, ultimately leading to the team’s 42-41 road win over Vegas. 

“Once I grabbed the ball, I was like, ‘It’s time.”  

But Hodge isn’t stopping at the IFL. 

“I’m chasing the dream still. I’m still young, so I know there is still an opportunity for me to make it to the NFL- With all the opportunities from XLF, USFL, and Canada, to the NFL- there is just a lot of football everywhere to be played. I feel like players like me will get found somehow, someway.”