LOS ANGELES – The son of former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield will attempt to forge a career in the NFL after being signed by the Carolina Panthers, the club confirmed Monday.
Elijah Holyfield, a running back with the University of Georgia last season, was one of four undrafted free agents signed by the franchise.
The 20-year-old rushed for 1 000 yards for the Bulldogs last season but his draft stock plummeted when he could only manage a relatively sluggish 4.78 seconds for the 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine.
Most running backs typically aim for a time below 4.50 for the combine benchmark sprint. A total of 25 running backs were chosen in the draft, which wrapped up this weekend.
Nevertheless, Holyfield earned a reputation as a solid ball carrier at Georgia, and will now seek to nail down a permanent spot on the Panthers roster alongside Christian McCaffrey.
Speaking before the draft last week, Holyfield told suitors he would be the “hardest-working guy in the room” if picked.
“I think I can help change the culture and add some toughness to the team,” he said.
“If you want a guy that can do everything at the running back position, I’m your guy.”
"Anyone who thinks he was given his place in life because he's Evander's son, they're wrong. He's worked for it all." Released from heavy weight of being a champ's son, former @FootballUGA RB Elijah Holyfield now carving his own career path.#BACK2CAMPUS: https://t.co/F55c3t4nDC pic.twitter.com/fvnS8fYltJ— NFL Draft (@NFLDraft) March 19, 2019