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Get Michel the ball

Whatever it takes to help the team win.

Cliché, yes, but it’s also an admirable trait every football player should aspire to have.

Take senior Sony Michel, who’s versatility on offense is something head coach Kirby Smart wants to make sure the Bulldogs take advantage of this year.

“When you get him the ball in space, he tends to make things happen,” Smart said. “So finding ways to get Sony the ball and creative ways to use his ability is important for us.”

That suits Michel just fine.

“Whatever it takes to win football games,” Michel said. “If Coach wants me to run the ball, I’ll run the ball. If he needs me to catch it, I’ll catch it. If he needs me to block, I’ll block. Whatever he needs me to do, I’ll play.”

Michel has the statistics to back his versatility up.

Along with rushing 152 times for 840 yards and four touchdowns, Michel was also Georgia’s fourth-leading receiver with 22 catches for 149 yards and one score, including an outstanding effort in Georgia’s win over TCU in the Liberty Bowl when he accounted for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

“He finished off the year really well. More importantly than on the gridiron, he impacted our team more off the field than probably anybody. He’s not a guy that’s afraid to speak out,” Smart said. “He’s not afraid to challenge others. I appreciate that as a coach, having been around a lot of players like that in my past. He has that ‘it’ factor to do that.”

That’s not all.

Another trait which endears Michel to Smart is the former's passion for responsibility and making sure his teammates are doing what they’re supposed to do.

“I try to be the voice of the coaches so the coaches don’t have to say much,” Michel said. “It’s important that the players step up and rally the team, not have to depend on the coaches for that and get ready to play some football.”

Making sure underclassmen and fellow running backs Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield are ready and prepared is also part of the deal.

Although Michel and fellow senior Nick Chubb figure to handle the bulk of the duties at running back, the Miami native said this an important year for the two youngsters, who along with incoming freshman D’Andre Swift, will get a lot of work in 2018.

“They can still learn a lot,” Michel said. “They can learn from the coaches, they can learn from me and Nick. And by knowing what it takes after we leave, that’s going to keep this program headed in the right direction.”

Sony Michel excited to help offense however he can
Sony Michel excited to help offense however he can (Radi Nabulsi)