On the same weekend that a host of former Notre Dame stars kicked off their professional careers, Brian Kelly and Notre Dame hauled in one of the next stars for the Fighting Irish when 5-star running back recruit Elijah Hood committed to Notre Dame after his latest visit to South Bend.
The latest, and highest ranked, verbal commitment for the Notre Dame class of 2014 made his announcement over Twitter.
Fellow recent Notre Dame commitment Sam Mustipher was quick to congratulate the latest member to join the recruiting class of 2014.
@EHood34 that's what I'm talking about. Welcome to the family. Can't wait to block for you.— Sam Mustipher II (@IAmFiveTwo) April 28, 2013
Jimmy Byrne offered up a welcoming messaged to one of the nation’s best running prospects as well.
This is a huge pickup for Notre Dame and Brian Kelly. Hood is one of the nation’s elite prospects and gives the Irish 5-star running backs in back to back classes for the first time since the days of Lou Holtz. So much for Brian Kelly having a hard time recruiting runningbacks for his offense huh?
The North Carolina native had scholarship offers from the likes of Georgia, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, USC, Michigan, and North Carolina. Early on in the recruiting process, Notre Dame was felt to be the odds on favorite, but in recent months North Carolina stormed ahead of the Irish along with Clemson. The latest trip to South Bend for Hood though was enough for him to commit to Notre Dame.
Rivals ranks Hood as the #1 running back in the country and #12 overall prospect. 246 Sports has him as the #9 athlete and #127 overall prospects.
A quick look at his highlights makes it easy to see why he is rated as highly as he is.
Getting Hood to commit took a fantastic job of recruiting by Kelly, Mike Elston, Tony Alford, and the entire Notre Dame coaching staff. For a while it looked like distance would keep the Irish landing the elite back, but the staff was able to ease those concerns and lock up one of the nation’s elite recruits before the end of April capping of a pretty good month of recruiting for the Irish.
Notre Dame now has 8 verbal commitments after Hood joined the rest of the “Golden Army 14″. Notre Dame also picked up a commitment from tight end Nic Weishar last week and offensive lineman Sam Mustipher earlier this month.