When Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas four-star linebacker Jaydon Hood committed to Michigan, the Wolverines added not only a standout football player but a quality person to the U-M program as well.
Listed as a 6-1, 212-pound inside linebacker, Hood turned in a dominant junior season with 115 tackles, but the Michigan commit is determined to reach the 150-tackle threshold during his senior season. Hood's head coach at St. Thomas Aquinas, Roger Harriott, can see that happening.
“Jaydon is an innate physical specimen with a high football I.Q. With a passion to play,” Harriott told Wolverine Digest. “As a player, he brings practical leadership, intelligence, tenacity and athleticism to the game. His size, range and speed will make it difficult for offensive coordinators to account for him and game plan.”
By and large, every offensive coordinator on the Raiders' schedule in 2020 will have their work cut out for them. In addition to Hood, the team offers fellow Michigan commit and three-star cornerback Ja'Den McBurrows in the secondary and uncommitted four-star defensive end Dallas Turner on the line. These prospects should help push Hood to reach his potential day in and day out.
“I'm very fast, instinctive, strong and very physical at the point of attack,” Hood said. “I take pride in my instincts and how I can dissect a play before it happens or dissect it while it's happening if I've seen that. They do a lot of window dressing, so I take a lot of pride in that because I watch a lot of film.”
But while Hood works hard to develop his football skills and physical conditioning, Coach Harriott knows that he undergoes a similar practice, one of rounding out his character on a daily basis as well.
“Jaydon is a young man of authentic integrity,” Harriott said. “He prides himself on being a good person, presenting himself as a positive role model and making decisions conducive to the greater good.”
Last year, Hood played on West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman, which is where he racked up his 100-plus tackles. But Hood is also the son of a pastor at a nearby church congregation. When Hood's parents would travel to the church to conduct sermons, the talented linebacker prospect would set out on his own work by holding a football camp for youths in the area. This routine not only allowed for Hood to reach out and give back to a younger generation but also to further refine his skills and understand football better since he was on the coaching side of the exchange for once.
With that knowledge as part of his arsenal, Hood is prepared to help the Raiders produce another championship-caliber season this fall.
“As for the defense, our objective is to play technically sound, fast flow, physical football,” Harriott said. “Dominate the field position battle by winning at the point of attack is our defensive key to victory. These objectives are met from our faith-oriented expectations to represent as a brotherhood of champions off the field at home, in the classroom and within our community.”
Given Hood's propensity to give back, he already has the “champion off the field” aspect down pat. And as he continues to improve through offseason training, Hood hopes to reach a similar status on the field this fall and down the road at Michigan.
Which player are you most excited for in the 2021 class? Out of all the linebacker commits, who do you think will have the greatest impact at Michigan? Let us know!