- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
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."
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.
His road trip then headed over to Ann Arbor on Saturday, where he had a chance to get to know the Michigan program and coaches a little better. Hood tweeted that the visit was eye-opening, which had Michigan fans excited.
"I said that because I never really knew anything about the program. Seeing what it is and that it was different was great. It really opened my eyes to the program," he said. "The coaching staff, how they treat each other and the players. The atmosphere is a loving one; Coach [Brady] Hoke really cares about his guys and takes care of them."
The family atmosphere was what stuck out the most for Hood at Michigan. He was only in Ann Arbor for a short time, though, before heading over to Columbus to see what the Buckeyes had to offer on the final leg of his trip.
"Their coaches were awesome. The running backs coach, Coach (Stan) Drayton is a real family oriented guy," he said. "They're trying to do something awesome with the program and help their guys in the future."
Head coach Urban Meyer wasn't in town for his trip, but that didn't matter much to Hood. The coaching staff explained that Meyer was out for a good cause and he understood. He also felt as though the coaches that were on campus did a great job explaining what he would experience at Ohio State.
"They really showed me that Ohio State is tough. It's competitive there, the good kind of competitive," he said. "Where everyone challenges everyone to be good, and it's a competition to see who's best."
Hood couldn't pinpoint one school that stuck out the most after the trio of trips, but they will definitely help him get closer to a final decision. The ideal situation is to make a commitment before his senior season starts, but he does not have a specific date set.