‘Smell of marijuana’ led to UGA’s Elijah Holyfield arrest

Georgia tailback Elijah Holyfield’s arrest for marijuana possession happened after UGA police were called to his dorm because a resident assistant smelled the odor of marijuana.

Holyfield is the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield.

Police found small amounts of marijuana after obtaining a search warrant. Holyfield denied to police that he had been smoking marijuana, and initially declined a search, according to a police report released on Monday.

The incident occurred was at Vandiver Hall on River Road, just before midnight on Sunday. A resident assistant called UGA police after smelling the odor of marijuana from a dorm room, a suite that Holyfield shared with two teammates. When police officer Jacob Herndon arrived outside the room, he wrote that he could “immediately smell” the marijuana. He knocked and Holyfield answer the door, his eyes appearing bloodshot, Herndon wrote.

“I advised Holyfield that I could smell the odor of burning marijuana coming from his room and asked if they had been smoking. He stated that he had not and did know what I was talking about,” officer Herndon wrote. “Holyfield stated that he was sitting on the couch watching TV while his roommates were asleep.”

Holyfield, 19, declined the officer’s request to search the room. At that point the officer asked Holyfield and his roommates (Mecole Hardman and Deagnelo Gibbs) to step outside, and two other officers arrived as backup, while Herndon went to obtain a search warrant. The warrant was issued at 1:01 a.m. and 24 minutes later it was executed.

There was no contraband, to use the report’s term, found in Hardman and Gibbs’ rooms. In Holyfield’s room, an officer found a glass pipe located inside an iPhone box that contained what she thought was marijuana residue.

The officer also found a plastic box that contained a “small loose suspected bud of marijuana.” Because officers also noticed that a window was open, they checked below on the ground and found a cigarillo bag containing seven buds of “suspected unburned marijuana.”

“After gathering what we found, I asked Holyfield if the suspected marijuana that we found belonged to him,” officer Herndon wrote. “He stated that he had no idea how the marijuana got in his room. He also stated that he knew nothing about the marijuana thrown outside the window.”

Holyfield was placed under arrest and taken to jail. He was bonded out about an hour later.

There has been no official comment yet from the team, other than Kirby Smart saying through a spokesman that he was aware of the incident. Normally, a first violation of UGA’s marijuana policy calls for a one-game suspension for football players.

Holyfield signed on to play at Georgia over Auburn in the 2016 recruiting class.

Holyfield, who will be a sophomore this year, played sparingly last year but was hoping for a larger role this year, even with stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel back, as well as fellow rising sophomore Brian Herrien.

During Georgia’s spring game last month at Sanford Stadium, Holyfield carried the ball 15 times for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Another UGA rising sophomore, receiver Riley Ridley, was arrested on a marijuana charge earlier this year.

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