ATHENS — Much of the early buzz in Georgia’s camp was about Elijah Holyfield. The freshman tailback was impressing a lot of people, and seemingly set to get plenty of carries.
Then came an ankle injury in the second preseason scrimmage. While he only missed a few practices, the effects apparently lingered, and Holyfield has yet to see the field this season.
Instead, it’s been another freshman, Brian Herrien, who emerged as the second option at tailback, behind Nick Chubb. And now with Sony Michel back, and senior Brendan Douglas still certain to get work, could Holyfield be relegated to fifth string?
Possible, but don’t put a redshirt on the talented Holyfield just yet. It’s only two games in, and history shows Georgia ends up going pretty far down its tailback chart.
“He’s working hard,” coach Kirby Smart said. “He’s another guy who, if not for his injury, you probably would have seen him the first game. He’s had to overcome the injury and I still don’t think he’s 100 percent healthy. He’s just getting back.
“It’s tough when you’re a true freshman. In my career I’ve seen true freshmen get injured and the amount of mental mistakes they make when they come back is just huge. So it’s not just the injury. It’s the mental makeup of ‘how do I catch back up and learn what these words mean.’ I’ve seen it with Charlie Woerner. I’ve seen it with Elijah. I’ve seen it all throughout my career with guys. That’s his struggle more than anything. He’s got great ability.”