Four-star College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy running back Elijah Holyfield released his top 10 schools at The Opening yesterday. That list contains some familiar SEC names — Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee — but also some schools outside the South, including USC.
The 5-foot-10, 204-pound Holyfield has yet to visit the USC campus, but Los Angeles definitely has an allure for him. It’s something he’s mentioned as a promising factor for USC in every interview we’ve had with him.
“I’m going to try to get back out there for a visit at some point. I want to get to see the campus, so we’ll see.”
Even if Holyfield isn’t able to make an unofficial visit, he’s not counting out a potential trip, saying that it “could end up being an official” visit that gets him back to the West Coast.
For him, location doesn’t play a big role and USC is trying to sell the Hollywood lifestyle.
“They play the big California/L.A. role a lot. Being away from home is not a big deal for me. It’s never been that big of a deal. I wouldn’t not go to a school I liked just because it was too far away from home.”
“I’m a big people person. If I feel the person is real genuine about what they say, I more so would lean toward their school.”
Holyfield is being recruited by USC receivers coach Tee Martin, who still has strong name recognition in the South from his national championship-winning playing days.
“I really like all the coaches out there and it feels like a really good feel,” Holyfield said. “Coach Martin is from over on the East Coast, so I’m more familiar with him. He played at Tennessee, so some people that I know that went to Tennessee and played with him, so I kind of got a better feel for him.”
Having a relationship with USC freshman Chuma Edoga and current receiver commit Josh Imatorbhebhe gives Holyfield a couple of Georgia allies in cardinal and gold. But it’s a former Trojan that first attracted him to USC.
“Being a little kid and watching USC, watching Reggie Bush in the glory days back then,” Holyfield said this spring. “I’ve watched them and I’ve known about them for a while.”
The Trojans tradition of running backs is something that Holyfield has routinely mentioned and he feels that he can continue that. The coaching staff has told Holyfield they see him slotting in to the Buck Allen mold of more recent USC running backs that can carry the rock, but also catch the ball out of the backfield.
“They feel like I can do a lot of things for the offense and stuff like that, so they said I’ll be a perfect fit.”
Check out these Elijah Holyfield highlights from his junior season with Woodward Academy: