American Heritage-Plantation running back Sony Michel, the Sun Sentinel's top-ranked prospect in the Class of 2014, is heading to the SEC.
Michel committed to Georgia Friday afternoon on ESPNU's College Football Daily. The five-star-rated prospect chose Georgia over Notre Dame and Miami.
Heading to Athens is nothing new for Michel, who has family in Georgia. He spent a large portion of his summer in the state.
Still, Michel told ESPN that he committed to Georgia because it was a change.
"Georgia is a wonderful place, first time I stepped on campus, I loved it," Michel said. "Georgia is different and I wanted to experience something different."
He'll join a team that had two freshmen running backs, Keith Marshall (759 yards in 2012) and Todd Gurley (1,385 yards) dominate the SEC last season — but Michel said the competition wasn't a deterrent.
"Those two running backs actually gave me the itch of wanting to go to Georgia," Michel said. "Having two great running backs there is awesome, I can go in and compete. I always want to earn my spot."
Michel's commitment to Mark Richt's program was expected, but it is not binding. He has until National Signing Day 2014 — Wednesday, February 5 — to change his mind, if he so chooses. That's the first day players can sign his National Letter of Intent.
Michel told ESPN he doesn't expect to change his mind.
"Miami came by my school and tried to make a big push for me this week, but I shot down all contact with coaches," Michel told ESPN's DawgNation. "It will not be too difficult for me to avoid changing my mind. Once I make my decision I am solid with it, and I feel like nothing is really going to change that"
Michel is the nation's second-highest-ranked running back, according to the 247sports composite rankings, which compiles rankings and ratings from the four major scouting services. While he might not be the top rusher nationally, there's little doubt that he's an elite player in South Florida — it's been that way since he was in 8th grade.
That's when Michel quite literally burst his way onto the national recruiting scene with his preternatural speed. By the time he was a sophomore, Michel was already one of the nation's most sought after recruits.
Michel runs a legitimate 4.4 second 40-yard dash, and his testing in the 20-yard shuttle is even more impressive.
Injuries have been a concern for Michel in his time at American Heritage, but when he's on the field, there hasn't been anyone in South Florida that's been able to catch him.
Michel is the fifth commit and the first five-star to pledge to Georgia in the Class of 2014.
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