The three major Midwestern college football powers were all in Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday.
Coaches from Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan were just latest in a long line of coaches parading through the hallways of Charlotte Catholic High School, checking on 2014 running back Elijah Hood.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has offers from all three along with offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, South Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt among others. He currently has a top five that includes the Irish, Buckeyes, North Carolina, Clemson and Georgia Tech.
“Each school is kind of different and each school has the kinds of things I like a lot, but overall, I think I could be successful at all off those schools,” Hood said of his current favorites. “They’ll give me a pretty good chance to do what I want to do and they seem like places where I can achieve my objective.”
As for what he likes about Notre Dame, “What is there to not like?”
Irish assistant Mike Elston handled the recruitment of Hood’s former teammate, Mark Harrell, who just finished his freshman year as an offensive lineman at Notre Dame. Elston represented the Irish at Charlotte Catholic on Wednesday. Coaches are prevented from extensive in-person contact with underclassmen at this point, but Hood has remained in touch with the Irish staff.
“They’re basically telling me that they’re trying to get me up there to South Bend,” Hood said of the Notre Dame coaches. “They’re just waiting for me to go up there and take the next step with them and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Hood, who will take a trip to Clemson next weekend, is trying to put together a trip to South Bend to catch a spring practice. If he’s able to set that up, he’ll probably hit at least one other Midwestern school as well.
“On the way up to Notre Dame, I’ll probably stop by Ohio State or Michigan,” he said.
Hood rushed for 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns this past season after running for 1,982 yards and 35 touchdowns as a sophomore, but he was actually looking at playing linebacker in college at one point.
“I’m starting to feel running back more, so I might as well go with it,” he said. “I think I might be a linebacker for UNC or Clemson, but they’re liking me at running back too, so I’ll just go with running back.
“I think I’m talented enough to do whatever I set my mind to. I’m comfortable running the ball, so it doesn’t matter to me what position I play.”
Despite putting up monster numbers on offense, Hood was looking forward to playing defense.
“I like to hit people,” he said. “I like to try to stop guys. I can transfer that kind of effort into running back. It doesn’t really matter, I like to play the game. I just thought my aggression would pay off more at linebacker.”