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Elijah Hood opens up his recruitment

Aug 20, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

NCHSAA Playoffs

One of the stars of Notre Dame’s current recruiting class is stepping back from his commitment. North Carolina’s Elijah Hood, a five-star prospect according to some recruiting services, is no longer verbally committed to Notre Dame. The 5-foot-11, 225-pound running back that served as one of the “Golden Army’s” top prospect-recruiters, is now reexamining where he’ll spend his college career.

Hood’s decommitment comes at an interesting time. With almost six months to go before Signing Day, the Irish coaching staff will likely continue to recruit Hood hard, reminding the Charlotte native what made Notre Dame such an attractive option to begin with. But with a depth chart that now includes highly touted freshmen Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston, along with more veteran depth like Amir Carlisle, George Atkinson, Cam McDaniel, and Will Mahone, it’s likely that one or more programs have crept into Hood’s inner circle and made him decide to open things up and take official visits.

Hood was an All-State running back at Charlotte Catholic last season, rushing for prodigious numbers so far in his career while leading his team to a state championship appearance. While some have reported that distance from home could be a concern, it’s not hard for Hood to see players like Ben Councell, Mark Harrell, Kendall Moore, Prince Shembo and Romeo Okwara from North Carolina and understand that it’s possible to succeed in South Bend from the Tar Heel state.

Running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tony Alford was a key figure in Hood’s eventual commitment to the Irish over home state North Carolina. At the time of his commitment in April, Hood made a quick decision after an official visit to South Bend to become the Irish’s first five-star pledge in the ’14 recruiting class.

  1. ndadvocate - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    The absolute worst pat of this is not losing a running back pledge, but the fact that he was one of the biggest ND advocates within the Golden Army. Remember how vital Jaylon Smith was last year in helping to recruit the school? That is how I pictured Elijah Hood this year.

  2. jerman3 - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    ESPN is reporting that his father is blaming the de-commitment on an issue during a recent unofficial visit. “something happened recently while his son was on an unofficial visit to South Bend, Ind., and that was a big factor in his decision to open things back up.”

    Guess that could be a due to the crowded depth chart, but certainly suggests something else.

    Anyone have any info?

    • dickasman - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      he actually saw students attending classes, behaving, going to church, studying and not smoking too much fake pot.

      • danirish - Aug 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        dickasman – Hood goes to Charlotte Catholic, it is very clean and school is priority one – he goes to class and academics is not the issue.

    • onward2victory - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      This actually makes me a bit nervous. Sounds similar to what Vanderdoes was saying.

      Individually, I wouldn’t give much thought to either statement. But if this becomes a trend where recruits are saying “something changed”, then I will be concerned that something weird is going on behind the scenes.

  3. irishdog80 - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Who knows? Maybe he was denied Early Entry or Leonard Fournette has scheduled a visit. Hood can also still change his mind after Alford gets a chance to talk to him. The more important issue is that we continue to bring in massive and athletic offensive linemen. It is amazing how good any running back can look running behind a line full of NFL level talent.

    • danirish - Aug 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      You are right on dog! Hood does run behind one of the best in North Carolina. Catholic’s O-Line is beast.

    • ibleedirish - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      Exactly. Running backs are literally a dime a dozen and have been for years. O-line first, plug in almost any RB after. The only disappointment here is that by all accounts he is a quality kid, seemed like a great fit and ambassador for ND, and those things are much more rare than college ready ball carrying skills.

  4. audomer - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    His father stated that he was scared about something that happened on his last visit.

    My guess is he saw the Freshman Curriculum.

  5. dermmite - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I’ve only made two commitments in life that matter. The 1st is to our Lord and Savior, the other one was at the alter. I don’t care that a 17 year old decommits from a verbal commitment.

  6. nicenirish - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Better watch UCLA’s recruiters this sounds familiar.

  7. rcali - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Follow the money folks.

  8. rpbags - Aug 22, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    To be honest a “verbal” is like saying “i will see you later” and never showing up! I don’t really care if he comes to ND or not because i feel we have great depth at rb with or without him so if he wants to go elsewhere, let him go and we will just give his scholarship to a player that really wants to be at ND…..I think that he is using his dad as a scapegoat and i think he knows that the backfield in ND is gonna be well stocked for a while, so i wish him all the best at the school he ends up at and if its ND great if not then so be it!

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