Inside the Panthers

Charlotte Catholic’s Elijah Hood says he’ll run angry in NFL after early exit from UNC

North Carolina’s Elijah Hood (34) is an early entry to the NFL draft who played at Charlotte Catholic. He’s at the NFL scouting combine this week.
North Carolina’s Elijah Hood (34) is an early entry to the NFL draft who played at Charlotte Catholic. He’s at the NFL scouting combine this week. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Former North Carolina and Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood was all smiles Thursday when he met with the media at the NFL scouting combine.

But Hood’s mood did not necessarily mesh with how he described his running style.

“The way I run the football is angry,” Hood said. “I bring a power element.”

Hood, who checked in at 6-feet tall and 232 pounds at the combine, powered his way to 2,580 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons at UNC. Both numbers rank in the top 10 in school history.

It looked like Hood would have a chance to add to those totals when he announced in December he would return to Chapel Hill for his senior season.

But two weeks later Hood had a change of heart, making himself eligible for the draft in what he called a difficult decision.

Hood, the North Carolina high school player of the year in 2013, said he just felt like the timing was right to make the jump to the NFL.

“I’ve always dreamed of having the opportunity to play in the National Football League. I’ve been working for this my whole life,” Hood said. “When I really thought about it the opportunity was there. So I think I’m just going to go out there and try to seize it.”

Hood and the rest of a deep running back group will run the 40-yard dash and go through position drills Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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