The Carolina Panthers are taking a chance on an undrafted player whose father once had the best punch in boxing in their search for a running back to pair with Christian McCaffrey as a one-two punch.

Georgia’s Elijah Holyfield, the son of four-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, has agreed to terms with Carolina after being bypassed in the draft, the team announced Monday.

The elder Holyfield told’s Vaughn McClure in February at the Super Bowl that he hoped his son got a chance to play for Atlanta, where he grew up. Holyfield will have to settle for playing the NFC South rival Falcons twice a season if he makes the roster.

Holyfield’s draft stock dropped after he posted a 4.78 time in the 40-yard dash and didn’t demonstrate great explosion. Known more for his quickness than speed, the 5-foot-10, 215-pound back may be a better fit to complement McCaffrey than fifth-round pick Jordan Scarlett out of Florida.

The Panthers entered the offseason looking for a back that could do many of the same things McCaffrey does to give the 2017 first-round pick a break. McCaffrey played 91.3 percent of his snaps and set an NFL single-season record for a back with 107 catches in 2018.

Scarlett is known more as an inside power runner, catching only 10 passes last season.

Holyfield is more of a do-it-all back like McCaffrey. He rushed for 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns on 159 carries and had five catches for 40 yards and this past season as he split time with D’Andre Swift, who rushed for 1,049 yards in 2018.

Holyfield will compete with Scarlett, Cameron Artis-Payne, Reggie Bonnafon and Elijah hood for the spot behind McCaffrey.

Holyfield isn’t the only new arrival from Georgia. The Panthers made wide receiver Terry Godwin a seventh-round pick on Saturday. Godwin likes the addition of his former teammate.

“I know what he can bring to the table and I know what type of athlete he is,” Godwin said of Holyfield. “It’s going to be an exciting camp for us.”


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