Jul 1, 2013; Beaverton, OR, USA; Elijah Hood does a shuttle drill during the SPARQ Rating National Championship at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon on Monday July, 1, 2013. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Elijah Hood Making Impact at UNC

Poking around the internet yielded not one but two articles on new Tar Heel running back Elijah Hood. The spring enrollee seems to be making quite an impression on both teammates and coaching staff. This includes raves from Coach Larry Fedora, and once Fedora starts raving about something, it is hard to get him to stop. Coffee, after all, is jealous of Larry Fedora.

Both articles, one from Andrew Carter at the Raleigh News and Observer, and the other from Greg Barnes of InsideCarolina.com, emphasize some of the same ideas.

Both articles really like Hood’s strength. One mentioned that Hood can squat 605 lbs. Both mentioned his preference to run through people rather than away from them. One mentioned that Hood shows good awareness in pass blocking, and pass blocking again goes back to strength.

The other thing people keep bringing up is his frame which is listed at 6’0” 225 lbs. That’s tankish, but it reminded me of another running back who similarly sized. It even helps that Hood wears 34. Now, I’m not saying that Hood will be the next Herschel Walker (6’1” 225 lbs), but that body dimension just sort of stuck with me. Hood ran a 4.48 at one combine, which is not in Walker’s speed class (Walker claimed a 4.35 just recently at age 50), and that is where the comparison probably fails.

These are things that Hood such a weapon at Charlotte Catholic High School. How good was Hood down there? The running joke was that revered Coach Jim Oddo was going to retire earlier and then he discovered he would have Hood’s services. Hood reached a five star rating according to some services.

He ran for 8890 yards and 136 touchdowns over three varsity seasons.

Prognosis

North Carolina runs a four running back group, but it is difficult to tell TJ Logan, Romar Morris, and Khris Francis apart. Logan is the exciting one. Morris is the screen play receiver one. Francis is the brave one? Yet they are all built about the same. Logan is sneaky strong, but each one of these guys are more elusive than powerful.

Hood offers a clear alternative. He is a power runner, and he can be brought in to do those things. His ability to pass block will also win him more snaps. My point is that Hood has a clear role that only he can do, while the other backs can of do the same things.

It would not surprise me to see a Logan-Hood rotation by later in the season.

Tags: ACC Football Elijah Hood North Carolina Tar Heels

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