Ohio State Buckeyes: Elijah Hood

Big Ten class rankings analysis 

August, 28, 2013
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The latest version of the ESPN class rankings is out, and there are seven Big Ten teams within the top-40 classes.

With movement happening across the board, there are trends and stories developing, so Big Ten recruiting writers Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival give you a look at what to watch within the conference:

Trending up

Brad Bournival: Interest in Ohio State after Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer created his own Twitter account. At the urging of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, @OSUCoachMeyer was created. In 12 hours, the account has three tweets -- one an introductory tweet and the other two a bible verse. In those 12 hours, the two-time national champion picked up over 24,000 followers. Incidentally, it looks like the first person Meyer followed drives the keys to the Buckeyes’ Mercedes (@BraxtonMiller5).

The Early Offer: Robinson's impact 

August, 28, 2013
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Cameron RobinsonGreg Ostendorf/ESPNFriday's decision by offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the No. 3 prospect in the ESPN 300, between LSU and Alabama could foreshadow the last five months of the 2014 cycle.

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Cameron Robinson announces on Friday and his pick could go a long way toward determining who has the No. 1 class, TE DeAndre Goolsby is quickly climbing the charts of many recruiters, and Elijah Hood’s decision could help UNC lure one of nation’s top surprise classes.

Decision day set for Robinson
One of the most significant recruiting battles of the 2014 class will come to close Friday when the nation’s No. 3 overall player Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) announces his decision. Robinson, a five-star prospect, is a franchise offensive tackle that only comes around once every few classes, and the battle between LSU and Alabama is one that could set the tone for the rest of the recruiting season. If LSU lands him, then it could help the Tigers run the table with other high profile in-state recruits like No. 1-ranked Leonard Fournette. That type of run could help the Tigers unseat the Tide from the top spot in the class rankings that it’s held for the last two years. If Alabama lands him, then the Tide basically locks up another No. 1 class with more than five months left in the recruiting calendar. Most projections, including RecruitingNation’s Hot Board, have Robinson leaning towards Alabama.

A picture is worth a thousand words

The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.

Five who might get away from Buckeyes 

April, 26, 2013
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On Monday, BuckeyeNation looked at the next possible five commitments Ohio State might land.

With Urban Meyer being Urban Meyer, the two-time national champion is only going after the best of the best. That means the Buckeyes not only will butt heads in recruiting with the SEC, but places like Oregon and USC, as well.

With that in mind, here are five players Ohio State is after who likely will find a home some place else.


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Ohio State 2014 Spotlight: RB Hood 

April, 25, 2013
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Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look further into those juniors offered by Ohio State.

We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these Class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes.

Next on the list of running backs is Elijah Hood., who has more than 20 offers from some of the biggest Division I programs in the nation.

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Ohio State outlook: Top 5 RBs in 2014 

April, 25, 2013
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As the 2014 recruiting class comes into focus, BuckeyeNation will take a position-by-position look at the juniors.

Today, we examine the running back position. Though it’s a position of strength for Ohio State with junior Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) committing on Feb. 10, the Buckeyes are always looking to upgrade.

In the Class of 2013, Ohio State took just one running back – Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs) -- though with Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde out of eligibility after the season, the Buckeyes could take two in the Class of 2014.

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Ohio State outlook: Top 5 RBs in 2014 

March, 26, 2013
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videoAs the 2014 recruiting class comes more and more into focus following what was yet another strong national signing day for Urban Meyer, BuckeyeNation will take a position-by-position look at the juniors.

Today, we examine the running back position. Though it’s a position of strength for Ohio State with junior Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) committing on Feb. 10, the Buckeyes aren't satisfied yet.

In the Class of 2013, Ohio State took just one running back – Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs) -- and with Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde out of eligibility after the season, the Buckeyes could take two from the Class of 2014.

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Ohio State kicked off what could be a wild month of commitments with the pledge of defensive end Dylan Thompson on Saturday. As usual, the Buckeyes never take a rest.

Here’s what the recruiting week looked like as the team continued to look toward the future:


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RB Hood rethinking top group 

March, 18, 2013
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videoRunning back Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) had his list narrowed dow to Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State and seemed destined to head North. That changed recently, though, as Hood and his family have been talking about his future plans.


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It’s time to dip into the BuckeyeNation recruiting mailbag and answer some of your questions.

We’ll try to give everyone a chance to get their questions answered.

We encourage you to send your questions by Twitter at @bbournival, e-mail at brad.bournival.espn@gmail.com or by posting a question in the Horseshoe Pit forum.

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Spring practice begins today at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes never stop recruiting.

On Feb. 6, Urban Meyer and Co. landed the third-ranked class in the nation after a 2012 recruiting campaign that put Ohio State sixth.

There are certain things we know about the Buckeyes as they fine-tune their lineup and other things that need addressed.

Here are five things we know about the future as they turn the recruiting calendar completely to 2014:


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It’s the quiet period for recruiting, but Ohio State never takes a break. While contact with prospective pledges isn’t as easy, the Buckeyes are doing as much as they can to keep themselves in the forefront of recruits’ minds.

This week wasn’t any different, with offers dished out and pledges giving their two cents about visits to other schools.

One particular junior put out a top three and then changed his mind when Ohio State came calling with an offer.

[+] EnlargeJeb Blazevich
Miller Safrit/ESPNESPN Watch List TE Jeb Blazevich has Ohio State in his final six.
Here’s the week in review:

  • BuckeyeNation checked in on the latest regarding Deshaun Watson and gave news on 29 other athletes in the recruiting mailbag. The Buckeyes, along with Alabama, put out an offer to Kendall Gant to close the weekend.

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OSU Mailbag: The promise of 2014 

March, 1, 2013
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It’s time to dip into the BuckeyeNation recruiting mailbag and answer some of your questions.

We’ll try to keep to five questions a week to give everyone a chance to get their answers.

We encourage you to send your questions by Twitter at @bbournival, e-mail at brad.bournival.espn@gmail.com or by posting a question in the Horseshoe Pit forum.

Here’s the latest installment.


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RB Hood speaks out on top three schools 

February, 25, 2013
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Class of 2014 running back Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) spent a weekend visiting Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State. Monday, the ESPN Watch List prospect listed his top three schools.


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Elijah Hood recaps his recent road trip 

February, 24, 2013
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Before his visits to Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State, running back Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) had a top five of Notre Dame, North Carolina, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State. That list, however, is soon to change.

"I have to wait and think about it, but there will be some movement on that list. Both Michigan and Ohio State will move up," he said. "One of these three schools will be my leader, but I have to talk with my family first. I'd like to get the new top five out as soon as possible."

Elijah Hood
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSA weekend visit tour of Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State has Elijah Hood thinking about moving around his top 5.
Hood's weekend started with a visit to Notre Dame, where head coach Brian Kelly gave him a personal tour and spent some alone time speaking with the Watch List running back. He said he now understands what Notre Dame has to offer and what he would get out of the university if he were to go there -- something he called special.

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