CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- From Charlotte Catholic to UNC, and now the NFL.
“I don’t know how else to describe it,” says Oakland Raiders running back Elijah Hood. “But one of the best days of my life.
Hood’s football dreams became a reality Saturday, after he was the 242nd pick in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.
“It still feels like I’m dreaming,” he says. “This is a culmination of life’s work and I just feel blessed.
In three years as a Tar Heels running back, Hood put up 2,580 yards on 430 carries, in addition to 29 rushing touchdowns.
But it only took one phone call Saturday to change his life.
“I can't even describe the wave of emotions,” Hood says. “It was like a wave. First I’m thinking I'm not going to cry. Then everyone's hugging you and crying and you can't help it.”
“Never been to California I've basically been in N.C. my whole life. It's kind of like you're going from the east coast to the furthest you can west.”
The running back said his phone began blowing up with calls from various people -- including the Raiders quarterback.
“Derek Carr called me on the night of (the draft),” Hood says. “I was surprised. I’m just some guy from Charlotte and he's calling me and congratulate me and welcome me to the team and he told me when I get here, work hard and everything will take care of itself.”
Hood will have quite the mentor on the team too. He said his favorite player is Marshawn Lynch, a former Seattle Seahawks running back who just came out of retirement to join the Raiders.
“I’ll make sure I buy a giant bag of Skittles,” Hood says. “He’s the kind of guy I want to get to know. I have so much to learn from him.”
And so much he’s ready to prove.