ATLANTA - Evander Holyfield may better be known for his time in the ring, but he also knows his way around the gridiron.
Holyfield was a high school football player at the old Fulton High School. At 5’4” and 115 pounds, the future heavyweight champ may not have packed much of a punch on the football field, but football is in the Holyfield’s blood. And he passed it down to his son, Elijah.
We know him as the champ, but Evander Holyfield is also a father. And like most fathers, he has advice for his son Elijah, a highly recruited running back from Woodward Academy now waiting his turn behind the big guns at the University of Georgia.
"When the coaches tell you to do something, it’s up to you to do it. But if you don't do it, it falls on you. If you do do it, it falls on you," said Holyfield.
So far, Elijah has only eight carries in his sophomore season, but his talent is undeniable.
"I know he's not a quitter. In every aspect, he's trying to do his very best," said Holyfield.
In May, Elijah wasn't at his best. He was arrested for possession of marijuana, something head coach Kirby Smart handled the situation internally. Elijah's dad handled it with some fatherly advice.
"Elijah, I lived in the ghetto. I didn't get a good education and all this for the fact it wasn’t available. With me, nobody never offer me, ain’t nobody offered to me to smoke. Ain’t nobody offered for me to do nothing. Stay away from the bad people because, you know, I’m telling you, it’s the company you keep. Can get you kind of fired up when you don’t even need to be fired up. I’m telling you its instigators in the world and they everywhere,” Holyfield said.
This week Elijah moved slightly up the depth chart for the Dawgs, and the champ says he'll get his chance if he does what dad was famous for, outworking his opponent.
"Hopefully, he continued to follow that path and just do what the coach tell him doing, outworking people because outworking people is the key," said Holyfield.