RECRUITING

Notre Dame football recruiting notebook: Hood commits to Heels

TYLER JAMES
South Bend Tribune

A week after backing out of his verbal commitment to Notre Dame, 2014 running back prospect Elijah Hood offered his pledge to North Carolina.

The 6-foot, 221-pound recruit announced his decision in an online statement Tuesday night.

“Of all the schools, North Carolina has endeared me the most because it feels like home,” the statement read in part. “As the nation’s first state university, the traditions and history of North Carolina make me extremely proud to be born here. The North Carolina community, Coach Fedora, and his staff have done a great job at Chapel Hill and I can only expect better things ahead.”

Hood originally chose Notre Dame over North Carolina in April, but said last week a decision with family in mind led to his departure from the Irish recruiting class.

Hood started his senior season at Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic on Saturday night with a dominating performance of 325 rushing yards and five touchdowns against Gonzaga from Washington, D.C. Rivals.com ranks Hood as a five-star prospect, the No. 3 running back in the 2014 class and No. 14 overall regardless of position. 247Sports slates Hood as the No. 7 running back and No. 76 overall.

An ACC release earlier this year listed a home game for Notre Dame against North Carolina in 2014. A date has yet to be set.

Commits start seasons

Three members of the 2014 recruiting class saw their senior season start this past weekend with a fourth playing in a nationally televised preseason game. Here’s a look at how each Irish commitment performed.

• WR Justin Brent: Making his varsity debut at running back, Justin Brent led Speedway (Ind.) High to a 42-13 victory over Lapel on Friday. Nineteen rushing attempts led to 180 yards and four touchdowns for Brent. He also hauled in two catches for 19 yards and made three tackles from the secondary on defense.

• OL Sam Mustipher: Friday night on ESPNEWS, Mustipher and Good Counsel (Md.) High suffered a heartbreaking loss to Gilman to start the season. Mustipher helped pave the way to an early 14-0 lead for Good Counsel from his left tackle position. The Falcons failed to respond to 20 unanswered points from Gilman. The Good Counsel offense was stopped inside the 10-yard line in the closing seconds.

• OL Alex Bars: The 6-6, 295-pound prospect saw action on both the offensive and defensive lines in a 24-10 victory for Montgomery Bell (Tenn.) Academy over Christian Brothers on Friday night. Bars played left tackle on offense and helped the MBA defense limit Christian Brothers to 83 rushing yards as a part of the defensive line.

 • LB Richard Yeargin III: ESPN showcased the Preseason Classic matchup of Yeargin’s University (Fla.) School and Homestead. The University School Suns cruised in a 41-21 victory. Yeargin saw action all across the defensive line, playing primarily defensive end but also playing nose guard in certain situations. Yeargin tallied one solo sack and blocked a punt.

Elijah Hood, who decommitted from Notre Dame last week, has committed to North Carolina. Photo provided/CHARLOTTE OBSERVER