Hood decommits from Notre Dame

Running back Elijah Hood of Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic decommitted from Notre Dame on Tuesday afternoon. Why did the five-star choose to withdraw his pledge - and where do the Irish go from here?

The five-star running back from Charlotte, North Carolina took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to confirm that he indeed is back on the market.

"For everyone wondering, the answer is yes," Elijah Hood tweeted. "Now I'm going to practice."

Hood is no longer a Notre Dame commit, but do not expect the Irish to play dead. Before Hood committed to Notre Dame in the spring (April 28), North Carolina posed a serious threat to landing the five-star back. However, Hood pledged for the Irish, telling FOX Sports NEXT his three-day visit in April to Notre Dame sealed the deal.

"I was just tired of it (the recruiting process)," Hood said in April. "Every time I come back from Notre Dame, I'm always ready to commit. When I got home, I just said I had to end this."

Though Hood has yet to speak on the specifics of his decommitment, I believe it goes without saying, Notre Dame still has a place in his heart.

It has nothing to do with a crowded backfield, and certainly not wins or losses (season has yet to even start), or even any remote rumors of a coaching turnover.

Without putting words into Hood's mouth, distance wreaks as the main reason (and perhaps only reason) for the sudden decommitment. Even if the Tar Heels can land their in-state star within the next week or so, his recruiting journey is more than likely far from over.

Consider his quote in April after committing to the Irish:

"Notre Dame is the best place for me," Hood said. "It's the best institution in America for a student-athlete in my opinion. I know that I'm going to be with some great, amazing individuals at Notre Dame. The coaches, players, academics – it's a Catholic school. Everything about it just lines up for me. I just felt like I needed to go where I could have the best shot to have success in the long run, and I think Notre Dame gives me that shot."

Hood was well-known as being the primary recruiter for Notre Dame's 2014 class, playing a role in virtually every commitment to the Irish that has since followed his.

Notre Dame offensive guard commit, Sam Mustipher, said he had not spoken to Elijah about the decommitment.

"I will not (be in contact with Hood)," Mustipher told IrishEyes.com via text. "I only worry about the guys that we do have."

Notre Dame sells recruits something different than the status quo its counterparts in college football sell, and that's because Notre Dame offers something different. Prospects that choose Notre Dame are drawn to those unique aspects. Hood, well-spoken and passionate about the game, couldn't deny what Notre Dame was offering him in the spring. And, that hasn't changed -- on Notre Dame's end.

Will distance be enough to keep Hood from choosing the school of his dreams? Time will tell, but expect Hood to still take an official visit to Notre Dame this fall, and until National Signing Day 2013, I'm not so sure anyone can be confident with where the five-star is headed. Counting Elijah himself.

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