Elijah Hood is leaving, after all.
The junior running back has declared for the 2017 NFL Draft, two weeks after stating his intent to return to North Carolina for his senior season.
"This was a difficult decision, but after gathering more information and talking with my family, I believe it is in my best interest to declare for the NFL Draft and pursue my dream of being a professional football player,” Hood said. “While I’ll miss playing with my teammates in Chapel Hill, I’m excited about my future opportunity."
Hood sat out the Sun Bowl on Dec. 30 with medical issues, as the Tar Heels (8-5, 5-3 ACC) rushed for 118 yards in their 25-23 loss to No. 18 Stanford.
Hood finished the 2016 season with a team-high 858 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, earning third-team All-ACC honors. As a sophomore, Hood rushed for 1,463 yards — the second-best single-season mark in UNC history — and added 17 touchdowns to claim a spot on the All-ACC first team.