The Georgia Bulldogs had two different visits from 2016 prized running back prospect Elijah Holyfield in the month of June, Holyfield is a must-have in Athens for multiple reasons.
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The University of Georgia traditionally garners some of the best running backs in the country. That trend has continued with the Georgia Bulldogs in the modern era as well with the likes of such players as Knowshon Moreno, Todd Gurley, Sony Michel, and 2015 Heisman contender Nick Chubb. Even so, the area of running back might be growing into a position of concern as time goes by.
The Bulldogs are, as they have always been, fighting on the recruiting trail to ensure that the backfield is stocked with elite talent. The month of June brought about two separate visits from one of the nation’s top backs. That Georgia target is 4-Star running back Elijah Holyfield. His last name will come with some familiarity as he is the son of former heavyweight champion of the world in boxing Evander Holyfield.
The younger “champ” hails from Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. He is listed as the 7th overall RB and the 17th overall prospect in the state of Georgia for the 2016 Class per 247Sports.com Composite Rankings. Holyfield is a versatile running back with capabilities to both run and catch for big yards. In his 2014 campaign he compiled some 1735 rushing yards along with 25 touchdowns on the ground. Couple those numbers with his 289 receiving yards and 3 TD’s by air and it is no wonder about why he is a high profile target for the Dawgs.
While his two recent visits to “The Classic City” would indicate that Mark Richt and company will land the recruit, there is still much uncertainty as Holyfield has over 30 offers from other schools including Alabama, Auburn, Oregon, Tennessee, Florida, and South Carolina.
Elijah Holyfield Highlights – HUDL
Let it be known though that Holyfield is an in-state necessity for the Dawgs to land for 5 major reasons:
#1 – Nick Chubb Will Not Be A Georgia Bulldog Forever
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With the turmoil that surrounded Todd Gurley last season along with his season ending ACL injury, Nick Chubb of Cedartown, Georgia, made himself quite known. On 219 rushing attempts Chubb averaged 7.1 yards per carry while compiling 1547 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. He also gained some 213 yards receiving and 2 TD’s from the air. In all likelihood, Chubb would have broken Herschel Walker’s single season rushing record had he been the main back for entire season for the Georgia Bulldogs. Chubb will look to springboard off of his prolific freshman season with a superlative sophomore crusade. There is no doubt among the Georgia faithful that he will be successful as he moves forward being the top running back “Between The Hedges” in 2015.
However, in today’s world of professional football, lucrative contracts and other factors always seem to come into play. Sure, the best case scenario is that #27 will stay in Athens all 4 years but given the trend of other high profile backs of the recent past, this is highly unlikely. How long Chubb will stay suited up in the red and black remains a mystery but if he were to leave Georgia early it would further solidify the need for a star running back to come into the fold and try to offset such a loss. Holyfield would be a great addition that would help curb the effects of a “Chubbless” Georgia Football program.
#2 – The Bulldogs Had A Lone Running Back Commitment In The 2015 Class
UGA needs Elijah Holyfield because of the “FAM15” class has only one running back commitment in Tae Crowder. What is even more important here is the fact that Crowder was reeled in very late after running back Chris Carson decommited from the Dawgs and chose to take his talents to Oklahoma State University instead. Crowder had planned on playing at Georgia Southern University but was swayed to commit to UGA with the national signing day deadline approaching. Crowder is a tough runner, is very physical with the ball in hand, and has a knack for breaking tackles. All of his attributes play into what Georgia wants a running back to possess and look like.
While it is nice to have added Crowder to the mix at the running back position, the fact that he was the lone back added late is not a good sign. Locking in a superlative runner such as Holyfield would help further ensure that the Dawgs are stockpiled at the running back position.
#3 – The Dawgs Recently Lost A Commitment From 4-Star Running Back B.J. Emmons
Georgia had an optimistic running back commit for the 2016 class in B.J. Emmons out of Morganton, North Carolina, but he has recently dropped his commitment to play in “The Classic City”. His athleticism, body frame, and power running had many UGA faithful salivating as he appeared to favor Nick Chubb in many aspects.
Emmons decommiting may not be such a bad thing though as he has had some legal troubles and the University of Georgia wants no trouble from its players in the future. In any case, Holyfield would be a nice replacement to nab in light of Emmons decision to consider other schools.
#4 – UGA Has No RB Commit For The 2016 Class
The Bulldogs’ need for Holyfield is paramount in that the Dawgs have no running back commit for the 2016 class. As mentioned above, B.J. Emmons has already decommitted which has left the bank dry in terms of running backs as the program looks forward to the future. Georgia has consistently held a trend of having a plethora of those who possess the talents to be stellar from the backfield so adding the Woodward Academy phenom Holyfield would be critical for the run game in Athens. The lack of having even one running back should definitely be a cause of concern for Mark Richt, Thomas Brown, and the rest of the UGA coaching staff. A Holyfield commitment would certainly ease some tensions as the Georgia program is running on empty at the moment in that department.
#5 – Holyfield Would Bolster A Georgia Bulldogs Team That Has Been Known For The Moniker “Running Back U”
The Georgia Bulldogs have never been lackluster when it comes to talent at the running back position. It is for this reason that Georgia has been known as “Running Back U” over the years. From players like Herschel Walker, Garrison Hearst, Knowshon Moreno, Rodney Hampton, Robert Edwards, Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb, the University of Georgia has a long-standing tradition of great runners. If Holyfield does decide to become a Dawg he would likely be a name that would be added to the lump because of his abilities at the position. Now there is only one thing for the Atlanta, Georgia, native to do…
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