Husker Hoops land commitment from guard Elijah Wood
Hours after announcing the departure of Wisconsin transfer Kobe King, Nebraska had his replacement already signed, sealed, and delivered.
Elijah Wood, a 2021 recruit and former Tulane and then Rhode Island commit, confirmed to HuskerOnline.com on Friday that he would reclassify up to the 2020 class and join the Huskers this season.
Wood, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard who was set to play a post-grad year at prep power Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy chose NU over other reclassification offers from Florida, Ole Miss, Providence, and others.
Wood said he planned to be in Lincoln on Monday, and his addition puts the Huskers back at a full 13 scholarships for the 2020-21 season.
“What really sold me was the coaching staff and their message that they’re really building something special,” Wood said. “I just wanted to be a part of that.”
After originally committing to Tulane as a 2020 prospect back in January of 2019, a coaching change led Wood to re-open his recruitment. He soon gave his pledge to Rhode Island in April 2019 over other suitors like Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Auburn, Georgia, TCU, Florida, Kansas State, and Ole Miss.
But his relationship with the Rams soured and he eventually went back on the market a year later on April 29, 2020. On May 1, he earned an offer from Nebraska for the 2021 class.
When King announced he was no longer joining the program, NU head coach Fred Hoiberg and lead recruiter Matt Abdelmassih called Wood and asked if he had any interest in jumping up to the 2020 class.
“I just couldn’t help but say yes,” Wood said. “It was a pretty obvious move. It was the best situation for me in all aspects."
“The reason why I chose Nebraska was because Coach Hoiberg and Coach Matt really showed strong interest in me from the jump,” Wood added. “That really meant a lot to me because that was at a point where basically I had no offers. When they were the first to offer when I re-opened my recruitment, that meant a lot.
“The whole Rhode Island thing was kind of a messy situation, and basically I just wanted a place where I could feel at home. It’s been a pretty bumpy road from Tulane and the coaching staff there getting fired and then all that after – it’s been a long road.
"I just want a place where I can go and be the most successful at, and I honestly feel that Nebraska is the place.”
The Maryland native was at one point a four-star Rivals150 recruit, but after opting to sit out the 2018 AAU season, he was downgraded to a three-star and dropped out of the national rankings.
Wood’s impact this season will likely depend on the waiver status of Pittsburgh transfer Trey McGowens. If McGowens is ruled immediately eligible, Wood will work in with the four-man point guard rotation of McGowens, Dalano Banton, and Kobe Webster.
If McGowens has to sit out, though, Wood’s role would increase significantly. Wood described himself as a 6-6 do-it-all point guard who could also play the two.
He averaged roughly 15 points and five assists per game last season as a senior at Lilburn (GA) Berkmar High School, helping his team to the quarterfinals of the Georgia state tournament.
“They’ve told me their expectations, but my expectation is I just want to be the best person I can be,” Wood said. “I’m just glad to be on a great team, because I know we’re going to be a great team. I just want to be a part of that and do whatever I can to help win. That’s all I’ve ever cared about, just winning.”