University of North Carolina junior tailback Elijah Hood has elected to forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
“This was a difficult decision, but after gathering more information and talking with my family, I believe it is in my best interest to declare for the NFL Draft and pursue my dream of being a professional football player,” said Hood. “While I’ll miss playing with my teammates in Chapel Hill, I’m excited about my future opportunity. I would like to thank Coach Fedora, the coaching staff and all Carolina fans for understanding how difficult it was to come to this decision. This program is on the rise because of the great people at UNC. I’m going to continue to pursue my degree from UNC and I’m proud to say I will always be a Tar Heel.”
“Elijah is a special individual who meant so much to this program during his time in Chapel Hill,” said Fedora. “He is an excellent student, a standout football player and a first-class person who made the most of his opportunity at Carolina. We support his decision to further his career at the next level and wish him the best as he pursues his dream to play in the NFL. He helped change the culture in our football program and it was an honor to coach him for three seasons.”
Hood finishes his career with 2,580 career rushing yards, which ranks ninth at UNC, and is tied for sixth all-time at UNC with 29 rushing touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2015, Hood ranked among the best in UNC history, carrying the ball 219 times for 1,463 yards and 17 touchdowns en route to first-team All-ACC honors. He finished third in the ACC with 1,463 rushing yards, the second-highest single-season total in Carolina history behind only Don McCauley’s brilliant 1970 season of 1,720 yards.
As a junior in 2016, he was named third-team All-ACC, rushing for 858 yards on 145 attempts (5.9 yards per carry) and scoring a team-best eight rushing touchdowns.
A native of Charlotte, N.C., he was named Academic All-ACC in 2014 and 2015.