College football kicks off this weekend and when University of North Carolina running back Elijah Hood steps onto the field for the first time in the 2016 season, he’ll Be Prepared for whatever the season brings. Why? Because he’s an Eagle Scout!
That’s right— Hood may have charged through opponents to collect an impressive 1,463 yards last season, but off the field, the offensive back is still friendly, courteous, and kind.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Hood proudly carries his Eagle Scout card in his wallet. Whether he’s chatting with someone about this noteworthy accomplishment, or simply wants to reflect on his time as a Scout, he’s got proof of Scouting’s highest rank within reach.
“His rise through the Scouts coincided with his development into a coveted football prospect. He likes to think they both influenced each other, that the skills he learned in scouts translated to the field, and vice versa,” said Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer.
As a Scout, Hood had several sources of inspiration fueling his resolve to reach Eagle. Both his father and uncle had been Scouts, and his mother encouraged his Scouting goals. In fact, he even made a promise to his grandmother that one day he would be an Eagle Scout.
For most, things tend to speed up towards the end of high school and given Hood’s high involvement with sports, early college enrollment, and other various activities that accompany graduation, completing his Eagle Scout requirements didn’t come without a challenge.
But a busy schedule was no match for Hood’s Scouting spirit. With true determination, Hood buckled down and added one more item to his busy schedule— his Eagle project. The Scout converted a small field into a new gravel parking lot for his church and finally, years as a Scout in the Mecklenburg County Council, he received his Eagle award in the Spring of 2014.
BSA blogger and Eagle Scout expert Bryan on Scouting, wrote in a recent post, “In Hood, we see proof that the ideals of Scouting stay with you long after you swap shoulder loops on a Scout uniform for shoulder pads under a football uniform.”
While reflecting on the Scout Oath and Motto, he explained to the Charlotte Observer, “It’s like, in my brain…It’s just a general work ethic and dedication kind of thing. The honesty, trustworthiness. The wake-up-every-day-and-kind-of-put-your-best-foot-forward kind of attitude. Try to be the best citizen you can be – the best person you can be…Contribute to the community.”
Of all the story lines playing out this season, the potential for North Carolina’s resurgence will be watched closely. The Eagle Scout and his team will have to hit the ground running tomorrow, as they face the University of Georgia’s skilled defensive line under the direction of UGA’s new head coach, Kirby Smart.
Needless to say, Hood will be pivotal for the season opener, as he’s tasked with protecting the team’s new quarterback, Mitch Trubisky.
This Eagle Scout’s work ethic is sure to come in handy for UNC, and with Hood’s help, the Tar Heels could again rise to the top as ACC’s Costal Division champion.
Hood’s story goes to show that Scouting and sports can coexist, and even work together to highlight a Scout’s talent. Head to Scouting Wire to learn how.