Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look further into those juniors offered by Ohio State.
We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these Class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes.
Next on the list of running backs is Elijah Hood., who has more than 20 offers from some of the biggest Division I programs in the nation.
Vitals: Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) is 6-foot and 180 pounds.
Status: He is uncommitted and had Ohio State in his top three along with Michigan and Notre Dame. Hood has since reconsidered and is holding back releasing a new list.
ESPN.com ranking: After a strong junior season, Hood is ranked 49th in the ESPN 150 and is the sixth-best player in the state of North Carolina. From a position standpoint, he’s ranked eighth in the nation and second in the state behind Donte Thomas-Williams (Durham, N.C./Hillside).
Numbers game: Yes, the numbers are true as unfathomable as they seem. Hood rushed for a Mecklenburg County record 3,309 yards last season and scored 48 touchdowns in leading the Cougars to a Class 3AA state runner-up finish.
State of the position: While things point to the backfield being loaded in Columbus, it’s not as bad as most think. Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde are in their final seasons with the Buckeyes and Rod Smith is a junior. Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) is already in the fold for the 2014 class, but could be moved to a slot receiver position if need be.
What has caught Ohio State’s eye: Hood is the complete package. A powerful downhill runner with sneaky speed, he’s the well-balanced back the Buckeyes are looking for. He can cut on a dime, but at the same time has the size to absorb contact and move out of danger quickly. A power back runner who runs mostly north/south, Hood has the quick burst to separate quickly and can be used in the passing game as well.
What he has said about the Buckeyes: “It’s their work ethic and trustworthiness. You’re held accountable, but at the same time you’re having fun. Having the big-time Ohio State kind of swagger they have going on down there is a lot of fun. It feels like it would be fun to be a part of what Urban [Meyer] is doing.”