Sam Webb: So was the Michigan offer (Wednesday) kind of surprise or were you expecting it?
Elijah Hood: “They had been recruiting me already. They kind of told me they were going to offer me earlier, that they just wanted to make sure they had a coach down there to give it, so, it was considerate.”
Sam Webb: At this point, I don’t know if you know off the top of your head, but how many scholarship offers do you have?
Elijah Hood: “Probably somewhere around like 16-17. I’m not sure.”
Sam Webb: Before we talk any more about recruiting, kind of take me back through the season. I see you had some pretty gaudy stats, so I know that things went well, just kind of break things down in your own words, how did things go for your team, how did things go individually?
Elijah Hood: “The season went pretty well for my team. We made it to states, so it’s just a testament to what our season was. We didn’t win the game, but it says a lot that we got there. I would have liked to have gotten the win though. Overall, from an individual standpoint, I had a great season as well. I broke all the Mecklenberg County records, and I just, I had 3,000 yards. I can’t complain about it. We had an excellent team this year and it really showed off in my stats and what we did as a team. “
Sam Webb: As far as style of play, kind of break down your game.
Elijah Hood: “Kind of nastiness. I run with a purpose. I run like I’m angry. I only have one goal and that’s to get to the end zone. I don’t care how I do it, I’m going to do it. I’m a downhill runner. I put my shoulder pad into you and I’m going to get the job done.”
Sam Webb: What is your height, your weight and your 40 time?
Elijah Hood: “Height, about 6’0, weight probably around 213-215 and my forty time, fastest I was clocked at was 4.5 electronic.”
Sam Webb: Is there a player in college or the pros that people say hey, Elijah’s like him, or that you try to emulate out there?
Elijah Hood: “No, not really. I get comparisons to people, but I don’t try to emulate anybody. I try to be myself. “
Sam Webb: Clearly you are already a heavily recruited guy, you have options all over. Let’s pretend for the sake of argument that you’re sitting down and getting ready to pick one of them. What are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?
Elijah Hood: “Academics, my comfort with the program and the people there, and what I’d be doing, my ability to be able to influence the team, become a playmaker, their style of play, all that. It’s just a whole bunch of things.”
Sam Webb: Now as far as Michigan is concerned, what are your impressions of Michigan? What do you know about Michigan at this point? What do you like about them if anything?
Elijah Hood: “Well I know Michigan is a good program, a lot of tradition. I know there’s a great education you’d get at Michigan. I know from when they coaches just came down that they’re run a pro-style offense and they run heavy and they’re going to start coming at you, coming downhill, so that’s always nice for me to hear. They have a lot of good things for me to look at so far. It’s just a matter of getting down there and seeing the program and seeing the players, the campus and everything, so I’ve just got to look at it some more.”
Sam Webb: Now what about the vibe with coaches? I know Jerry Montgomery recruits your area and he’s the one you correspond with most… do you have any vibe with him? I know Coach Hoke made it by as well… have you spoken with him on the phone yet?
Elijah Hood: “Yeah, they seem like very genuine, honest guys, they seem like they want to do what’s best for the players and the team and get wins, so that’s all you really can ask for out of a coach and they seem like pretty fun guys. I can actually see myself spending the next four years or so of my life with them.”
Sam Webb: I know it’s early for you, but at this point, have any schools started to stick out on your list?
Elijah Hood: “I have an early five going right now, and that was Clemson, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Georgia Tech, so those are the five I’m going in with right now, but there might be some changes, you never know this works out.”
Sam Webb: You mentioned possibly visiting Michigan. Do you think you’re going to do that?
Elijah Hood: “I’m definitely planning on going up to Notre Dame, and probably trying to go see Ohio State too, so if I’m going to be up there, I might as well go and stop by Michigan.”
Sam Webb: Timeline, I mean, you obviously have five schools that stick out currently. You have the criteria that are going to go into the decision. What about timeline? Are you going to do it early? Are you going to wait until after your season? How’s that going to go for you?
Elijah Hood: “I’m going to try to get it before the season at least, get the commitment out of the way before the season starts.”
Sam Webb: I have to ask, I mean, your five include some schools that are a little further away from home, and it also includes some spread teams, so are those going to be factors, the offense, be it spread or pro style, and distance, are either of those things going to be factors for you?
Elijah Hood: “I think so. I have to go where I know I’ll be effective and they can use me, so I have time, I have to think about it, and I just have to keep thinking. I know some of these teams around here are spread teams, so I just have to see what I can do.”
Sam Webb: On the face of it, do you feel like you’re more of a pro-style guy?
Elijah Hood: “I can do a spread. I think I have the ability to do whatever I want to do, but I probably see myself transitioning more easily into a pro-style offense. That probably would fit me a little bit better, but I don’t have a problem going into a spread offense.”
Sam Webb: Last one, distance from home. Is distance from home going to be a factor for you at all?
Elijah Hood: “Yeah, distance from home will definitely be a factor. I’m going to want my family to see me play and everything, and I want to be able to get home, yeah all those things come into play.”