We continue our series examining the Georgia football players most likely to take on a higher profile in 2018 with a tailback who already knows a thing or two about stepping out of someone else’s shadow.
Junior tailback Elijah Holyfield is well-known as the son of former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield. More recently he became known for his intimidating biceps. Now, entering his third season in the Classic City, it’s time for the former Woodward Academy standout to be known for his ability to run the football.
Holyfield finished fourth in rushing for the ‘Dawgs in 2017, gaining 297 yards on 50 carries for a healthy 5.98 ypc average. Those aren't bad numbers at all, and we would likely be talking more about the 5’11, 215 pound rusher if not for a confluence of distractions. For one (or two depending on your perspective), Nick Chubb and Sony Michel rightfully sucked a lot of air out of the backfield conversation during their time in Athens. What’s more, D’Andre Swift’s 618 yards rushing and 153 yards receiving set him up as the heir apparent at the position and even a dark horse Heisman candidate. Then to top things off add in the nation’s top tailback recruit Zamir White and south Florida standout James Cook, and it’s easy to see why Bulldog fans seem to be forgetting the guy who electrified them just last October with a 39 yard touchdown run against Florida.
But Holyfield is likely to make his presence felt this season. The junior is the most physical runner on the roster. Swift will certainly get his carries and fellow junior Brian Herrien has shown flashes of brilliance in his own right. But Holyfield is likely to get a lot of action as Georgia runs behind a mammoth, experienced offensive line, especially with a lead. Kirby Smart likes to pound on opponents in the second half. Elijah Holyfield is going to be his hammer.
MaconDawg’s reckless prediction: Elijah Holyfield sees a healthy increase in his utilization in 2018, carrying 112 times for 620 yards and 4 touchdowns. Until later....