Notre Dame football recruiting: Hood shines in testing at The Opening

TYLER JAMES
South Bend Tribune

The last time Elijah Hood drew national attention he was flushing Alabama recruiting mail in the toilet.

On Monday, the Notre Dame running back commit found the spotlight with his athleticism.

Taking part in a four-day national competition for high school football prospects called “The Opening” at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., Hood excelled in Monday’s testing.

The senior-to-be at Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic High finished in the top 10 with a SPARQ rating of 133.47 which qualified him to compete in the finals live on ESPNU.

The SPARQ rating combines a player’s size with his laser-recorded times in the 40-yard dash and the 20-yard shuttle, the distance of a powerball toss and the height of his vertical leap.

In the finals, Hood recorded a 38-inch vertical, a 4.16 in the shuttle and a 39-foot powerball toss, but didn’t run the 40 because of cramps in weather that reached into the 90s.

A recent Notre Dame visitor also competed in the top 10. Outside linebacker/defensive end Lorenzo Carter of Norcross, Ga., finished sixth in the finals with a score of 135.06 aided by a 4.54 40 time and 41-inch vertical. Louisana wide receiver Speedy Noil, who holds a Notre Dame offer, won the competition with a 153.90 SPARQ rating.

Following are the preliminary results for Carter, Hood and three other Notre Dame committed prospects at The Opening.

-- RB Elijah Hood: 6-foot, 221-pounds, 4.48 40, 4.20 shuttle, 42.5-foot powerball toss and 36.3-inch vertical for a 133.47 SPARQ rating.

-- WR Justin Brent: 6-1, 197 pounds, 4.52 40, 4.13 shuttle, 40-foot powerball toss, 36-inch vertical.

-- QB DeShone Kizer: 6-4.5, 216 pounds, 4.96 40, 4.41 shuttle, 34-foot powerball toss, 27.4-inch vertical.

-- OL Quenton Nelson: 6-4.5, 302 pounds, 5.64 40, 4.81 shuttle, 42.5-foot powerball toss, 23.6-inch vertical.

-- DE/OLB Lorenzo Carter: 6-5, 234 pounds, 4.63 40, 4.32 shuttle, 41.5-foot powerball toss, 39.7-inch vertical.

Prospects pass on Notre Dame

A cornerback with a Notre Dame offer made a verbal commitment to Washington on Saturday night.

Jonathan Lockett, a 2014 prospect from Santa Ana, Calif., chose the Huskies after naming the Irish in his top four along with Oregon and UCLA.

The 5-11, 168-pound Lockett ranks as a four-star recruit, the No. 21 cornerback and No. 246 overall according to Rivals.com. 247Sports slates Lockett as the No. 32 cornerback and a three-star prospect.

Last week, defensive end Matt Nelson committed to Iowa over Stanford and Notre Dame. The 6-foot-8, 245-pound prospect from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, chose the Hawkeyes after summer visits to Stanford and ND.

The three-star 2014 prospect is ranked as the No. 12 tight end prospect by 247Sports and No. 30 by Rivals.

WR McKenzie puts Irish in top five

Notre Dame wide receiver target Isaiah McKenzie released a top five last week and the Irish made the list.

The 5-8, 165-pound rising senior at Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage also named West Virginia, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and Kentucky in his top group. The three-star prospect spent a week at Notre Dame in June when he earned his offer.

McKenzie, a high school teammate of Notre Dame freshman linebacker Michael Deeb, ranks as the No. 70 wide receiver on Rivals and No. 169 on 247Sports.

Elijah Hood at Charlotte Catholic High School.