Elijah Hood is a 5-star 2014 athlete recruit from Charlotte, North Carolina, and his top six features some very prominent college football programs.
Hood has the potential to be very good at the college level. He's 6'0'', 212 pounds and runs a 4.55 40, according to Rivals.com. He's also ranked as the No. 12 recruit in the recently released Rivals100.
He's undoubtedly a big-time recruit and he'll represent a marquee recruiting win for whichever program he ends up with. While there's still plenty of time before national signing day 2014, Hood has already narrowed his list down to six, according to Jason Stamm of HokieHaven.com:
Hood checked in yesterday as a five-star player, No. 12 overall. And off that excitement, he's also made a decision to narrow down a growing list of offers to six: Notre Dame, North Carolina, Clemson and Ohio State with Michigan and Georgia Tech tied at fifth.
"They're just giving me the best opportunity to be successful, I believe," Hood said. "I like what their coaching staffs bring to the table. I like what the schools bring to the table, academic and football-wise. I see those as areas I could go to hopefully and just do my thing."
It's nice to see North Carolina getting a major home town nod and Larry Fedora has done a great job with recruiting at what is a school primarily known for basketball.
Clemson is also a major program on this list, and there's no doubt in my mind that Dabo Swinney is one of the better recruiters in college football. If Hood wants to stay near home, North Carolina could have a good chance to land his commitment. If he wants to stay in ACC country, Clemson would be a good choice.
Georgia Tech is in fifth and tied with Michigan, and this is where the list gets very interesting. The Wolverines are a marquee program in college football and Brady Hoke is one of the best recruiters in the country. Finally, there's Notre Dame and Ohio State, that are just as marquee as Michigan, and feature two prominent recruiters in Brian Kelly and Urban Meyer.
If the two programs not named are Alabama, LSU or Florida—they should be considered legitimate national championship contenders in the next few seasons—it would be Notre Dame and definitely Ohio State.
Eventually Hood will have to trim this interest again, so what are the chances that any the "big three" on this list eventually become one of the top schools?
As an athlete, I really like his fit with both Notre Dame and Ohio State. He could be effective out of the backfield and in the slots, and both Kelly and Meyer could find multiple ways to take advantage of his skill-set.
He's also big enough to play running back in Michigan's pro-set, but he may find more opportunity in Ohio State or Notre Dame's offensive schemes.
With that in mind, I wouldn't be surprised if Michigan becomes the outlier for Hood, while Ohio State and Notre Dame put themselves in a good position to land his commitment when all is said and done.
Note: Hood has stated that Notre Dame is the favorite on his list. My take: Knowing the state of recruiting I would take that statement with a grain of salt.
North Carolina should remain a strong home-town favorite and Clemson could become the dark horse candidate, but either way, this should end up being one of the more interesting recruiting races to watch.
Out of the three big programs on his list, my prediction is that Ohio State and Notre Dame will be serious contenders, with Michigan ultimately falling by the wayside.