CarolinaBlue.com has learned that Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic running back Elijah Hood has committed to North Carolina.
Hood, one of the top overall athletes in the nation, was very impressive at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., earlier this summer.
The 5-11, 224-pound prospect decommitted from Notre Dame back on August 20 and at the time, the Tar Heels looked to be the favorite to land the talented ball carrier.
In what was a shocker, Hood decided to open up his recruitment after being one of the most openly solid Irish commitments in the 2014 class. Sources close to the situation told CarolinaBlue.com that distance was the main factor in his decision to part ways with Notre Dame.
When Hood committed to Notre Dame back in April, most believed that the four-star recruit choose Notre Dame over North Carolina. At the time of his decommitment, news started spreading that Chapel Hill would likely be his landing spot. This all came to fruition earlier today.
"I prayed about it and trusted my gut and realized that North Carolina is the school I want to be at," Hood told CarolinaBlue.com. "It's the right fit for me, it's close to home and my family can see me play. They can see me grow as a player and a persona and that's really important to me.
"My relationship with (wide receivers) Coach (Gunter) Brewer and (head) Coach (Larry) Fedora is hard to match," he added. "They are incredible people and they always stuck by me throughout my recruitment, even after I committed to Notre Dame before. That impressed me."
As a junior, Hood had 278 carries for 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns.
As a sophomore, he rushed for 1,941 yards and 35 touchdowns.
The commit gives the Tar Heels a potential ‘thunder and lighting’ combination in the same backfield in the years to come with Hood as the big back and last year’s four-star signee T.J. Logan providing the electric speed.
The duo faced off on December 2 in the 3A state title game. Logan rushed for a state-record 510 yards and eight touchdowns in a 64-26 win, while Hood rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
“Its going to be great,” Hood said. “We can be like LenDale White and Reggie Bush when they were at USC.”
Hood had one final thing to say regarding his pledge to North Carolina.
"It feels good to be a Tar Heel and I'm done with this process," Hood said. "I'll hopefully be here as early as January."
247Sports ranks Hood as the No. 76 recruit in the country, the No. 7 running back in the nation and the No. 4 player in North Carolina.
247Sports National Analyst Ryan Bartow contributed to this story.
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