Georgia tailback Elijah Holyfield (13) dives for extra yards in a NCAA college game against Massachusetts last November. Photo: Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP

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.”

AFP