In what should be a surprise to no one, Elijah Holyfied packs more power than most other running backs that are the same size. When you consider what his father Evander Holyfield was like as a undersized heavyweight boxer, that should have almost been expected.
Elijah is one of the top running backs in the 2016 recruiting class and has all of the necessary tools to be a big time player at the next level.
Holyfield is powerfully built with room to get bigger. He shows very good long speed and a solid burst. His lateral movement skills are good, but not great.
He’s a heck of an inside runner that displays patience and vision. He runs with authority when he hits the hole and plays bigger than his size would indicate. He will break tackles is a tough player to bring down at the second level.
He has good enough feet to be a one-cut runner, but shows more with subtle movements. He is more likely to run through than make someone miss.
He has an extra gear in the open field and that comes through as a kick returner as well. That combined with how tough he runs should allow him to be an occasional homerun hitter.
He catches the ball fairly well out of the backfield and can be a very useful player in the screen game.
He might be best suited to be a player with a lead blocker in front of him given how well he reads off of a fullback or pulling guards, but he has enough skill to play in a one back system as a zone runner as well.
Holyfield has more substance than flash to his game and that’s one reason why I think he can develop into a consistent contributor early in his career. He has the chance to become some lucky program’s feature back and I expect he will have a very productive college career.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).