Fort Lauderdale (FL) Saint Thomas Aquinas linebacker Jaydon Hood committed to Michigan on Monday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Miami, and Penn State, among others.
Hood is listed at 6’1″ and 212 lbs. As a junior in 2019, he made 115 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions, plus 2 defensive touchdowns.
ESPN: 4-star, 83 grade, #5 ILB, #191 overall
Rivals: 3-star, 5.7 grade, #35 ATH
247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #16 ILB
Hit the jump for more on Hood’s commitment.
Hood attended West Palm Beach (FL) Cardinal Newman before transferring to St. Thomas Aquinas, so he has yet to play for Aquinas, a nationally recognized powerhouse that draws elite football players year in and year out. However, Newman is also a solid football program in a talent-rich area, so there’s good football all over the place. The story goes that Michigan offered Hood shortly after he transferred to Aquinas. Despite being unable to visit Ann Arbor, he went ahead and scheduled his commitment.
I’m just going to dive right into the fact that I love this kid’s film, and I don’t understand how he’s a 3-star to two of the major recruiting sites. The only issue I can see is his size; he’s listed at 6’1″, but if I were guessing based on film, I might say he’s 5’11”. So what? We’ve seen a number of guys at Michigan be successful in recent years, despite less than prototypical linebacker size – Devin Bush, Khaleke Hudson, James Ross III, Jabrill Peppers, etc.
Hood is a wrestler, and he plays like it. I might think he’s 5’11” because he plays so low – whether he’s in his stance, taking on blockers, or making tackles. He’s compact and dangerous.
If Hood were an MMA move, he would be a spinning back fist.
Hood is quick to diagnose plays, and he can run from sideline to sideline. He’s good in coverage, and he has a knack for playmaking, whether it’s forcing turnovers, getting after the passer, or chasing plays down from behind.
Overall, this is an excellent pickup for Michigan. When he arrives in 2021, Joshua Ross will be a fifth year senior and Cameron McGrone will be a redshirt junior. I could see Hood playing a backup/apprentice role as a true freshman before jumping into a starting spot in 2022.
As with almost all commitments taking place during this time (COVID-19, for when we’re looking back on this in future years), I take it with a grain of salt. If/when he’s allowed to take visits, maybe he gets up to Michigan and doesn’t like the weather or the campus or something. But if he signs with Michigan, I think he will have a great career, most likely at middle linebacker.
Michigan now has 15 commits in the 2021 class. Hood is the fourth linebacker, joining Casey Phinney (LINK), Tyler McLaurin (LINK), and Junior Colson (LINK). Colson just publicly committed yesterday, and Hood immediately announced he would be making his choice a day later, so it’s possible he wanted to reserve his spot before someone like Jamari Buddin could jump in and take it. (Perhaps coincidentally, I think the talent level has improved with each commitment, though Colson has tons of upside.)
Michigan’s last signee from Aquinas was linebacker Anthony Solomon in the class of 2019, but cornerback Ja’Den McBurrows has also committed in the 2021 class. The Wolverines have also received contributions from other Aquinas products in recent years like transfers Jake Rudock (Iowa) and John O’Korn (Houston).
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