ATHENS - Georgia has earned the commitment of yet another elite tailback recruit.
Sony Michel, a highly-regarded prospect from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced a commitment to Georgia on Friday afternoon. Michel, who will be a senior next year at American Heritage School, was also heavily pursued by Miami and Notre Dame.
"I wanted to experience something different," Michel said during the College Football Blitz on ESPNU, explaining his decision to go away from home.
Michel is rated a five-star recruit by the 247composite, which averages the rating of the major recruiting services. He's also the top prospect in Florida for the 2014 class, according to the 247composite. He is listed at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds.
ESPN ranks Michel the second-best running back in the country, and 16th overall for the 2014 class.
“He’s one of the first recruits that I have known that was nationally known as an eighth-grader,” said Rusty Mansell, a recruiting analyst for Dawgs247.com. “Everybody knew who he was midway through his freshman year. He’s a home-run hitter, a home-run threat. He’ll be too valuable to sit on the sideline for a year.”
Assuming Michel follows through on the commitment and enrolls at Georgia next year, he will be the latest talented man to join Georgia's tailback corps. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall will be sophomores this season, and J.J. Green and A.J. Turman will be freshmen.
"Those two running backs actually gave me the itch to want to go to Georgia," Michel said. "I want to earn my spot, and I don't want anything given to me."
Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon pushed hard for Michel, as the Bulldogs continue to load up on tailbacks, scarred by recent bouts of depth problems due to off-field issues.
“It says a lot about Bryan McClendon as a recruiter. He’s only been on Georgia’s campus one time," Mansell said. "There was a tremendous amount of pressure on him to go to Miami. But everything I hear his family wanted him to get away, be his own person and not be a quote-unqoute The Man first time he gets on campus. He wanted to be able to learn under some guys and earn his own carries.”
The Bulldogs are also still pursuing Nick Chubb, a tailback at Cedartown High School who is rated a four-star prospect.
Michel is Georgia's second commitment from a key skill player this week: Tight end Jeb Blazevich from Charlotte, N.C., committed earlier this week.
Georgia also got a commitment from Krenwick Sanders of Wayne County High School in Jesup last year. The other two commitments for 2014 are on defense: Defensive lineman Dontavious Russell of Carrollton High School, and safety Nick Glass of Peachtree Ridge High School.