"I needed to make sure I was 100 percent sure before I released anything," said the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Hood. "I had been 100 percent for little while, but it hadn't really come up."
"I like the coaching staffs, the programs, and what they bring to the table academically. I just think these programs will set me up to have a great future, no matter what happens."
Each school has things that appeal to Hood.
Notre Dame : "What's there not to like? It's hard to find something wrong with that program," said Hood. "It's hard to find a better program and it's hard to deny Notre Dame, so that's the reason they are No. 1 on my list. I also like the running backs coach (Tony Alford), he's come down few times and I've talked to him. I like his demeanor and what he tries to teach his athletes."
North Carolina : "I love that it's close to home and I like that home-feeling. I know I would get a good education at North Carolina, too. They have a special swagger about them and I have a blast with their coaching staff. Those guys are awesome and I believe they're one of the better coaching staffs in the country."
Clemson : "They're another school that is close to home and their basically the dominant team in the ACC. They're also a good school academically. I know if I go there, I'll get my degree for sure. They are just solid all the way around and I really like them."
Ohio State : "I like the program and the big-time feeling up there. I also like Coach (Stan) Drayton, he's awesome. They also have one of the largest fan bases in America. Ohio State has a pretty good business school and I know if I graduate from there, I would be able to get a good job. And they went undefeated last year, so I think that's a school that will be at the top for a while."
Georgia Tech : "They've been on me really hard and they told me that they really need me. I know if I got there, I'll have a chance to play early and challenge for a starting position. I think I would have a chance to be a real difference-maker and it's really good school academically. It's also in Atlanta, so there are plenty of social networking connections down there."
Michigan : "They're switching to a pro-style offense and that's big. I also think I could go in and challenge for playing time. Michigan is also a great school and they have a crazy fanbase. The more I learn about them, the more I like them."
Do any other schools have a chance to land the four-star running back?
"I think for the most part, I'm going to focus on these schools," he said. "It would take something special from another school to replace one of them. I really like these programs."
Hood has already been to junior day at Georgia Tech and will head to Notre Dame in the near future. He said he will try to visit each of the schools on his list in the next several months.
Although he would like to make a decision sooner than later, Hood said he is in no hurry.
"I would like to make my decision as soon as possible, but I'm not going to rush anything," he said.
Hood finished his junior season with 278 carries for 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns.