4-star running back Elijah Hood is one of the best athletes in the nation, and he's one of Notre Dame's most important commitments.
Hood committed to the Fighting Irish in April.
What else is Hood bringing to the table for Notre Dame?
We here at the Signed, Sealed, Delivered blog have put together a complete scouting report on the talented back.
- Name: Elijah Hood
- Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
- School: Charlotte Catholic High School
- Position: RB
- Height: 5'11.5'' (247Sports)
- Weight: 222 pounds (247Sports)
- 40 yard dash: 4.48 seconds (247Sports)
- Rankings: 5-star (Rivals), 4-star (247Sports), 4-star (Scout.com), 4-star (ESPN Recruiting Nation)
Hood is a power runner first and foremost, but he brings an element of speed and elusiveness that gives him an added dimension. He really is the complete back.
He hits the hole hard and gets upfield quickly. Hood will lower his shoulder and run his legs on contact, and he has a knack for bouncing off would be tacklers. Defenders will have to tackle him low and wrap up, but even then, his strong base and powerful legs will make it hard for just one defender to tackle him, even at the college level.
In the pictures below, you can see how Hood simply runs over defenders. Notice his low pad level and forward lean. In the second picture, the defender is on the ground and you can see Hood moving forward. In this play, he kept his feet churning and utilized low pad level to run over the defender:
Just when you think he's a pure power back, though, Hood flashes elite speed and elusiveness. He can simply outrun defenders to the edge or in open space, and once he gets to the second level, his vision and ability to evade tackles is on par with the best "scatbacks" in this class.
Hood has a great cut move and exceptional balance. He can change the running lane or simply bounce off tackles, pick up his feet and keep moving.
Notice in the pictures below how Hood can find the small cutback lane. He plants hard with his left foot and is able to use the defenders momentum against them. Even though he's using his agility, you can still see elements of the power game. He's running with a forward lean, keeps his feet moving and runs through tackles. In the last picture, you see him turn it up and get vertical. Running backs who don't waste time getting vertical are truly valuable.
Defenders won't know if Hood will run them over or run around them, and that's what makes him so dangerous.
Finally, Hood has the ability to flare out of the backfield and be an option as a receiver. He has good hands and can pick up yards after the catch.
There's not much negative to talk about in regard to Hood's game. The one thing he could improve on is the placement of the football when he's running. At times, it was noticeably low and near his side. It's a small fixable detail, but he'll need to work it back up to his chest and keep it high and tight. This mostly happened in the open field, so it wasn't a huge deal.
He's fast enough to outrun defenders at the high school level, but in college he'll want to keep that ball tucked in so a defender can't chase him down from behind and punch it out. It's a small, fundamental detail, but we had to find something for him to work on. Nobodies perfect, right?
Hood has superstar potential for Notre Dame. He'll be able to effectively run between the tackles, but he could also be a third down and long option. He can also be a factor in the passing game for the Fighting Irish.
He'll be a great option behind 2013 back Greg Bryant, and could even turn out to be better than him, which is saying a lot.
For those claiming that Hood deserves a unanimous fifth star, for the record, we here at the Signed, Sealed, Delivered blog agree.
Note: Scouting and analysis done by writer, via tape study of film provided on Hood's 247Sports profile page. Screen captions via this 247SportsStudio video.