UGA offers football scholarship to Evander Holyfield’s son

Elijah Holyfield (right) with his father in an old pic (247sports.com)

Elijah Holyfield (right) with his 6-foot-1 father in an old pic (247sports.com)

UGA has offered a football scholarship to the son of boxing great Evander Holyfield.

Elijah Holyfield is a junior running back from Woodward Academy who boasts 25 early football scholarship offers. He officially got the word from UGA on Wednesday.

“It was great to get the offer,” Holyfield told the AJC. “Georgia has been my favorite team since I was young. It’s like a dream getting an offer from Georgia.

“It was always a goal. I had goals set in my mind when I started playing football, and one of them was playing football at Georgia one day. It’s cool growing up and actually getting an offer from them.”

Why is UGA Holyfield’s favorite team? “My parents like Georgia,” he said. “They were always on TV so much, so I grew up liking Georgia.” He added that his favorite all-time UGA player was Knowshon Moreno, and that he’s also a big fan of Todd Gurley.

Holyfield said he was offered by UGA running backs coach Bryan McClendon after the Bulldogs had a chance to review his transcript.

“(McClendon) said I was the type of back he’d love to coach,” Holyfield said. “He said there were some special things I did at running back that would fit right into their system.”

Recruiting a high-profile running back is one of UGA’s top priorities for 2016 after landing early commitments from a pair of 5-stars, quarterback Jacob Eason and offensive lineman Ben Cleveland. For this year’s class, the Bulldogs are taking a junior-college player at the position, leaving two years of separation between the top 2016 target at running back and freshmen standouts Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Holyfield attended UGA’s season-opener against Clemson, and plans to return to watch the Bulldogs against Auburn. He also is working on going to games at Michigan (vs. Penn State on Oct. 11), Michigan State (vs. Ohio State on Nov. 8) and Louisville (vs. Kentucky on Nov. 29).

Which schools lead for Holyfield? “Right now, of course, I like Georgia a lot,” he said. “There’s Michigan and Ohio State. I haven’t gotten the chance to go up to Michigan State yet but I think that’s a school I’d be interested in, along with Louisville. Those are the top ones right now.”

Holyfield is also talking to Georgia Tech. “No, I don’t have an offer from Georgia Tech, but they’ve been talking to me a lot lately and stuff like that.”

Holyfield is rated as a 4-star and the state’s No. 22 overall prospect for 2016, per the 247sports composite rankings.

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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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