Jacob Hood wasn’t able to take every college visit he wanted because of the pandemic.
But during a trip to the University of Georgia in July, he knew he didn’t need to see any place else.
“We had a little cookout together with the team and recruits. It gave me a better experience to talk with players there. It was chill. I really felt at home and that’s what closed it for me," Hood said about his commitment to the Bulldogs on Monday.
The former Hillsboro offensive tackle, who said he now measures 6-8, 350 pounds, takes team chemistry seriously.
He incorporated former Hillsboro teammates into his commitment video on the Burros' home field. Seven players donned hats of his finalists, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Florida and Eastern Kentucky.
Georgia just made the most sense to him in the end.
“Being able to talk to (head coach) Kirby Smart and (associate head coach/offensive line coach) Matt Luke (helped),” Hood said. “Playing for Matt Luke is a great thing, he’s put a lot of linemen in the NFL, and that’s one of my dreams. Since I was 5 I wanted to play in the NFL, and I believe he can get me there.”
Hood graduated from Hillsboro in 2021, but reclassified as a 2022 prospect, in part because the NCAA’s eligibility extensions for fall and winter sport athletes created a logjam on college rosters. He is the No. 13 prospect in Tennessee from the 2022 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
He said he plans to enroll in January.
“As a 2021 kid, he’d have offers for sure. But in ‘22 he just blew up,” said Maurice Fitzgerald, who coached Hood in his final season as the coach at Hillsboro. “I think it really just benefits him … A lot of kids rush into decisions. With the transfer portal, you don’t know what to expect. If you can take your time like he did I think you’re a little more knowledgeable about your decision.”
What's Georgia getting?
"He’s really young and has a lot of football in front of him," Fitzgerald said. "He’s a massive kid and he wants to learn."
Hood was thrilled to get to play for Fitzgerald, a Nashville high school football coaching legend.
"It really helped me a lot," he said. "Coach Fitzgerald is an amazing coach. He taught me not just on the field but off the field too, to be a better man as I grow up."
Hood is Georgia’s second offensive line commitment from the 2022 class. He's a true right tackle, he said, but is open to playing any line position.
He’s been working out on his own to stay in shape.
“Constantly training,” Hood said. “About 2-3 workouts a day, you know, constantly stretching and getting my body right so when I hit college I’ll be ready to go. I have major help. I have a big support system of coaches. They help me a lot with training and getting anything I need done with my body.”