UNC recruit Hood named AP POY

By Aaron Beard

AP Sports Writer

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RALEIGH – Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood has been named The Associated Press men’s prep football player of the year for North Carolina.

Hood, a senior, earned eight of a possible 12 votes from sports writers across the state to earn the 2013 honor in results released Wednesday. On Monday, Hood made the AP all-state team for the second straight season.

Hood originally committed to Notre Dame but later switched to North Carolina.

Davidson Day quarterback Will Grier was second with three votes. The Florida recruit, also a two-time AP all-state pick, threw for 4,989 yards and 77 touchdown passes with 11 interceptions.

AP all-state running back Derrell Scott also earned a vote after helping Havelock complete an unbeaten season with a third straight state championship.

Hood is one of six finalists for the U.S. Army national player of the year award along with Grier.

Hood was runner-up for the AP’s state honor in 2012 to Northern Guilford’s T.J. Logan, now a freshman with the Tar Heels. Hood ran for 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns last year, then topped that this season.

The 6-foot, 215-pound running back ran for 3,690 yards and 53 touchdowns, both Mecklenburg County records. His rushing yardage total was second in state history for a single season, while he ranks among the state’s career leaders with 8,981 yards rushing (fourth) and 147 touchdowns (third).

He closed his prep career by running for 149 yards and two touchdowns in Catholic’s 20-15 loss to eventual Class 4-A champion Greensboro Dudley in the state semifinals. He then ran for 92 yards and three touchdowns in the Shrine Bowl after the season.

Hood is the 20th running back to win or share the AP honor dating back to 1983. Hood’s selection marked the third straight year that a running back claimed the award, with Hood following Logan and Tarboro’s Todd Gurley II — now with Georgia.