Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 16, 2013 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 82 of 106

football recruiting Irish Looking To Grab An Elite Back In 2014 By Tom Loy T he running back depth chart is loaded at Notre Dame, and there is not a desperate need at the position in the class of 2014. All five Irish ball carriers in the season opener against Temple — juniors George Atkinson III, Amir Carlisle and Cam McDaniel, and freshmen Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston — will be back next season. Up until Aug. 20, Notre Dame had a pledge from one of the nation's premier running backs — Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic four-star recruit Elijah Hood. The 5-11, 224-pound prospect committed to the Irish April 28 and was as solid as a recruit could be over the past few months. However, that situation changed a few weeks ago when Hood decided to decommit from Notre Dame and play ball closer to home at the University of North Carolina. Hood committed to the Tar Heels Aug. 28. The loss of Hood was a tough blow to the Notre Dame staff, especially running backs coach Tony Alford. The Irish assistant coach had been recruiting the talented back for two years, but a change of heart and an interest in playing closer to his family made this a difficult situation for Hood. While it's tough to lose a back of Hood's caliber — ranks him as the No. 16 overall player in the Cedartown (Ga.) High five-star running back Nick Chubb, a Georgia commitment who is ranked as the No. 27 player in the country by 247Sports, may officially visit Notre Dame later this year. photo courtesy 247sports nation — the Irish coaching staff is still focused on bringing in an elite-level ball carrier in 2014. Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek running back Nathan Starks would fit that profile perfectly. The 5-11, 205-pound prospect is listed by 247Sports as the No. 163 overall player in the nation, the No. 9 running back in the country and the No. 1 recruit in

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