Elijah Hood Commits to Notre Dame: How Brian Kelly Should Use Versatile 4-Star

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIApril 29, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Brian Kelly and his staff have landed another big recruit, as versatile athlete Elijah Hood has committed to Notre Dame.

Hood, who can play running back or inside linebacker, is ranked as the No. 6 athlete in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He's  5'11', 222 pounds and runs a 4.51 40-yard dash.

Kipp Adams of ESPN.com reports on the commitment:

ESPN 150 running back Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) took a visit this weekend, and that was all it took.

"Officially committing to The University of Notre Dame!" the nation's No. 8 running back wrote Sunday on Twitter after visiting South Bend, Ind.

"Thanks for all the help and for following me on my college decision process!! See you guys around!!" he wrote in a text message.

Here's the Tweet from Hood that Adams referenced:

Note that ESPN 150 ranks Hood as a running back, but where exactly should Kelly and his staff look to utilize him at the college level? As previously mentioned, he can also play linebacker. 

The Fighting Irish already have several quality running backs. The depth chart features four: George Atkinson III, Cam McDaniel, Amir Carlisle and redshirt freshman Will Mahone. And that's not even factoring in 2013 signees Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant, a pair of 4-star backs. 

That said, if we're looking at a future backfield that features Folston and Bryant, both very fast backs, the Fighting Irish could benefit from having a "bruiser" back like Hood as part of that platoon. Mahone also has the ability to be that type of runner, but frankly, Hood looks like he could be much better.

Hood is simply a power back. He has tremendous size and pretty good speed. He runs with a forward lean and keeps moving his feet on contact. He can lower his shoulder and run through tacklers, but he also has good vision and above-average agility and elusiveness. He's the type of runner who will hit the hole hard, get to the second level quickly and drag the pile three or four more yards.

Conversely, in Notre Dame's 3-4 defensive scheme, would having a tough, strong and quick inside linebacker like Hood be nice? Of course.

But you can find those kind of linebackers anywhere. You can't find this type of runner coming out of high school on a regular basis.

Kelly and Notre Dame's staff would be wise to platoon Hood in the backfield and use him in power running situations. He'll be a tremendous short yardage option, but I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually worked his way into a more well-rounded role in Notre Dame's offense. 

He'll have to earn his carries, but he has the talent to do so and more as a 2014 recruit.


Note: All scouting and analysis done via tape study from this video via the 247Sports Studio on YouTube.

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