Georgia and Florida are two of the five finalists for five-star running back, Sony Michel (Plantation, Fl. American Heritage) and a decision where he will attend college could be made within the next month.
However, I think this comes down to a two-team race between Georgia and Miami. Notre Dame is in a good position with their top running back recruit, Elijah Hood and Florida added the nation’s top back, Kelvin Taylor this year, so they won’t be as eager to land Michel as the others.
I may be discounting Florida State at the moment, but that’s because of the recent hire of new running backs coach, Jay Graham. Until the relationship between the two is on par with Miami and Georgia then I have them on the outside looking in for the 5-11, 194-pound back with 4,819 yards on the ground for his career.
Miami is close to home for Michel and had these glowing remarks about the Hurricanes to Kipp Adams of ESPN.com.
“Miami is a team that I always see myself playing for. I am a fan of Miami, and no matter what school I go to I am still going to be a fan of Miami. I like the offense they run and the backs they produce as well.”
Al Golden’s club was unable to land Alex Collins, who also hails from Plantation, Fl, which was a shock to many because so many players in that area do not leave the state–especially when Miami is pursuing.
Letting another elite back out of your own backyard would not sit well with Golden, but my prediction for where Michel ends up is the Bulldogs, who also lost one of their own last year when Alvin Kamara signed with Alabama.
The best recruiting pitch for Georgia is the play of their stellar sophomore backs, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who combined to rush for more than 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns as true freshmen in 2012. Each is considered a long shot to stick around past their junior season in 2014 meaning Michel can step right into the mix after his freshman season on campus and be the team’s featured back.
The same scenario could take place at Miami with Duke Johnson, who is in the same class as Gurley and Marshall. That said, my gut is telling me Michel is going to be a Bulldog because of his relationship with running backs coach Bryan McClendon.