Where does Elijah Hood rank among ACC backs?

It’s well understood that the best running back in the ACC is Dalvin Cook of Florida State; in fact, you could make a case for Cook being the best back in America. People in Baton Rouge and Palo Alto may take issue with that, but there’s certainly a plausible argument to be made. Which raises the more centralized question: behind Cook, who is the ACC’s second best running back?

In 2015, six different running backs ran for at least 1,000 yards and six touchdowns, including Pitt’s Qadree Ollison, the league’s offensive rookie of the year. That list doesn’t even include the other star Panther back, James Conner, who is returning from a year away from football while battling cancer. Matt Dayes, who missed the final five games of the season following an injury against Clemson, also fell short of hitting the 1,000-yard bench mark. However, if he’d stayed healthy, Dayes would’ve clipped the 1,000-yard benchmark, easily.

Earlier this week, Bill Bender — a national college football writer for the Sporting News — joined the David Glenn Show. A variety of topics were discussed, and when the North Carolina-Georgia game was brought up, Bender mentioned just how highly he thought of UNC running back Elijah Hood:

This can only mean one thing: an investigation into just how good Hood was for the Tar Heels in last season. Heading into 2016, is Hood the league’s second best running back? Some numbers point to yes.

To read more on the key statistics behind UNC’s star running back Elijah Hood, sign up for basic access to ACCSports.com.