ATHENS — Elijah Holyfield isn’t looking to enter a track meet, he just wants to play football in the NFL.
Holyfield’s NFL draft stock has been widely debated after the outgoing Georgia football captain ran a 4.78-second time at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Holyfield followed up with a 4.81-second time at Georgia Pro Day on March 20.
The chiseled 5-foot-10, 217-pound Holyfield pumped out 26 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press, however, and showed explosion with a 118-inch broad jump.
But the stigma attached to the 40 time has lingered in the minds of some, even as Holyfield has made it clear he’s not overly concerned about it.
“I’m a guy who likes to play football, not all the other stuff,” said Holyfield, who was born in College Park Ga.. “You don’t play football in a combine, you play football on the field.”
Holyfield proved that to his teammates and coaches last season, rushing for more than 1,000 yards including an 18-carry, 115-yard performance at Kentucky.
Here are three things about Elijah Holyfield:
Holyfield earned his careers and earned his respect in the locker room, and that made him one of Kirby Smart’s favorite players.
“He was the last guy off the field every day here, catching extra balls, (and) he’s done a tremendous job in our program, he’s going to do the same thing in that organization,” Smart said
“The stripes of a player don’t change when they go to the next level, so I know he’s going to convert what he’s done well here into the same thing there.”
Holyfield led NFL draft eligible SEC running backs in average yards after contact (YAC) last season, according to Pro Football Focus metrics.
Holyfield averaged 4.09 yards after contact, bettering Oakland Raiders first-round NFL draft pick Josh Jacobs (4.07) of Alabama.
Elijah Holyfield was a bruiser in college, but can he make it work in the NFL? pic.twitter.com/XkntNLDfwf
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 9, 2019
Son of a champ
The name “Holyfield” carries weight around the globe, Elijah’s father the one-time undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
Elijah has maintained he doesn’t feel any added pressure or stress carrying the famous last name might bring, and he is proud of his father’s achievement and looks to make him and his mother proud.
In fact, the most notable thing of Elijah’s famous last name is how casual he is about it, and how he’s comfortable enough with himself to take it all in stride.
Elijah Holyfield at Georgia Pro Day