Evander Holyfield made a name for himself as a brutal retaliator against some of boxing’s all-time great aggressors, on his way to becoming a 4-time World Heavyweight Champion.
But his son, Elijah, is showing what it’s like to be a fighter in a far different arena.
High school running back Elijah Holyfield scored seven touchdowns for Woodward Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) in a victory over Decatur High School in Georgia this week. The 18th-ranked running back in the ESPN300 rankings begin his junior season with a bang, returning an opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He finished the game with 147 yards and six touchdowns.
A future Division 1 star
Elijah emerged on the college football radar his sophomore season, after rushing for 645 yards and 10 touchdowns on only 66 carries his freshman year at Riverside Military Academy.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound bruiser has shown both speed and strength while dominating his high school competition. He transferred to Woodard his sophomore year and now is the lead back as a junior.
While talking to the AJC’s Michael Carvell, Elijah said his early leaders including Michigan and in-state juggernaut Georgia, because of its “tradition at running back.”
A loaded backfield
If Elijah were to join the Bulldogs, he would continue a recent run of running back talent to don the red and black.
This year, starting tailback Todd Gurley is expected to be a Heisman contender and one of the top runners in the nation. He has run for 2,374 yards and 27 touchdowns the last two seasons despite missing three games in 2013 due to injury.
The Tarlboro, N.C.-native is expected to be one of the first running backs drafted in the NFL Draft.
Next in the depth chart is Keith Marshall, a junior speedster who was well on his way to making a name for himself when he was felled by an ACL-injury five games into the season last year.
However, he showed promise as a freshman, running for 759 yards on 117 carries, and if his knee holds up he could return to that level of performance.
Elijah would be joining a program that has churned out well-regarded running backs the last few years, from Gurley to Marshall to Knowshon Moreno and even Isaiah Crowell, who transferred out of the program but is now fighting for a spot on the Cleveland Browns.
Elijah will have multiple schools to choose from and has received interest from Ohio State, Michigan, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Louisville.