January 6, 2013

Dawgs impress Michel

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) running back Sony Michel just completed his junior football season and is no stranger to recruiting.

The South Florida standout has been on every school in the country's radar for at least four years prior to the start of his senior season, and Michel understands it isn't slowing down any time soon.

"Recruiting process has been wild since, I would say, the eighth grade," Michel told UGASports in an interview on Saturday in the Alamo Dome. "It picked in ninth grade and now it is just crazy.

It's one thing to hear from schools starting in the eight grades, but it is another to hear from the top programs in the country.

Michel currently has offers from school such as Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Miami, South Carolina, and many others. Due to the fact that the process started so early for the five-star prospect, he can already decipher who is coming at him the hardest.

"Most of the Florida schools are recruiting me the hardest because they are right there in my back yard," he said. "I have Georgia that is recruiting me hard, and Alabama. Those are the out of state schools recruiting me hard."

Georgia is a campus that Michel has seen twice over the last six months, and his experiences in Athens are a big reason why the Bulldogs are a contender for the elite play-maker.

"The visits were great. It was a different experience for me to go to Georgia," said Michel. "It was something I had never seen before. I met a lot of people. I met some of the recruits that were coming in, some of the class of 2014 kids, and some of the kid that's already there. I got a chance to meet those kids."

The Bulldog coaching staff made it known that Michel is a top priority for the 2014 class while he was on campus, but it didn't stop there.

He hears from the Georgia staff quite often.

"Me and Coach (Bryan) McClendon, we actually have a good relationship," he said. "We talk on the phone probably, I would say, almost every week. With me an Coach (Mark) Richt, both times I've went up there me and him sat one-on-one and talked. He's a great coach and a great person."

Another reason that Georgia has nosed it's way into contention for Michel has to do with it's success running the football.

"They run the ball," said Michel when asked what makes Georgia appealing from a system or scheme standpoint. "That's basically what every running back wants to see, and they run the ball. Hopefully, if I go there, I'll be able to do different things besides run the ball. I'd be able to catch the ball."

Michel see's UGA as a suitable option in another fashion that might surprise some.

"Georgia, it would be a great fit just because they have two great backs," he said. "A lot of people would probably be like 'why are you going there?' With those two running backs, you want to go somewhere you can compete. Everything in life is not just handed to you. You want to go up there and just compete."

The word around the star junior is that he won't leave the state of Florida to play college ball, but according to Michel, exiting the Sunshine State is something that is going to happen at some time or another.

"It's just one step in my life. I'm going to have to learn to be on my own," said Michel when asked to give his thoughts on leaving the state of Florida to play his college ball. "Playing out of the state of Florida is going to be a little bit different because I've been in Florida all my life, but I'm going to have to adjust."

At this point in his recruitment, Michel maintains that he has no leaders and doesn't know what the immediate future holds in terms of visits.

He does, however, have a timeline set for when he wants to narrow things down and what he is looking for in the process.

"Probably over the summer," responded Michel when asked when he planned to name a top group of schools. "I'll probably have it down to a top five. I'm looking for the type of people I'm going to be around, the type of offense, pro style, and the type of coaches."

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