Elijah Hood initially said he would return to UNC for his senior season, but reports have surfaced that the Tar Heels running back is leaning toward declaring for the NFL Draft.
Elijah Hood appears to be having a change of heart.
According to a report, UNC’s junior running back is considering entering the NFL Draft after initially stating he was looking forward to returning to the Tar Heels for his senior season.
Hood sat out UNC’s Sun Bowl matchup against Stanford to recover from various injuries that caused him to miss two games during the regular season. Many believed that was a sign he would be leaving for the NFL, following the decisions of LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Baylor’s Shock Linwood to sit out bowl games and not risk injury.
But Hood released a statement that at the time eased the minds of Tar Heels fans.
“I’m disappointed I cannot be with my football brothers for the bowl game in Texas, but it’s best for me to stay home and fully recover,” Hood wrote in the statement. “I look forward to returning to the field in 2017 for my senior year and having the opportunity to represent UNC along with my teammates. I appreciate Coach Fedora and the staff for helping me make the best decision for my future.”
However, NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler has reported that Hood might not return to UNC after all.
Despite a rather deep pool of running backs in this year’s draft, Hood might be wise to leave so his stock doesn’t slip further. He rushed for 1,463 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore, but finished with only 858 yards and seven scores last season while battling through injuries.