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The story of Sony Michel

*This story originally appeared on the UGA Wire, a digital property of USA TODAY Sports*

By Jackson Fryburger

The storyline was too good to end in defeat on a cold January night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last year. Following a crushing loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 national championship, a deflated Sony Michel sat speechless next to fellow Georgia teammate Nick Chubb on the sidelines.

The Bulldog running backs finished second and third on the all-time rushing list in Athens, won a Rose Bowl, an SEC Championship and so much more. However, that damp and cold night on January 8th put an end to their collegiate careers and sent them off to the NFL with heartache.

But for these two Dawgs, this was only the beginning of a journey. And for Michel, what a ride it has been.

Fast forward to April and the two running backs are selected within four spots of each other, at No. 31 and No. 35 overall respectively.  Even with their impressive numbers while splitting carries at Georgia, many scouts and fans continued to doubt them and question their early selections.

We’re talking to you specifically, Tony Massarotti.

A nagging knee injury in the preseason and a slow start prompted quick criticism of Michel’s ability.  Needless to say, the rookie running back went on to have 931 yards rushing in the regular season on 209 carries with 6 touchdowns.

An injury-riddled year that still included almost 1,000 yards from the rookie, who was not done yet. Finally healthy, the Georgia great was ready to show out when the lights were brightest.

In three postseason games, Michel scored an NFL playoff record 6 touchdowns while rushing for 336 yards to help the Patriots earn yet another ring.  Of course, the final game taking place in, none other than, Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Just over a year after sitting on that field, where he did not see the ball after the 8-minute mark of the fourth quarter or overtime period, Michel was ready to re-write the script.

With the Super Bowl tied at 3 late in the game, Michel burst into the end zone to give New England a 7-point lead. Ironically, this happened to be the only touchdown of the game for either team, which helped the rookie pass fellow Georgia great Terrell Davis on the single-season postseason scoring list.

The zeroes on the scoreboard struck, the final whistles blew and Michel was a Super Bowl champion. As he continuously did throughout his childhood, the rookie sensation defied the odds once more and proved his worth.

Sony Michel, the Florida-born star of Haitian descendants, had his triumph. However, it was certainly not the first of his career nor will it be the last.

Michel constantly states that he owes everything to his parents who made significant sacrifices to set up his academic and athletic futures at American Heritage High School.  After signing his rookie contract last spring, the running back provided cars for each of his parents, an Audi SUV for his mother and Chevrolet pickup truck for his father.

“I rather my parents live their best life now,” said Michel on Instagram.

Tyler Sullivan


Looks like Sony Michel took care of his parents and got them some new wheels. Pretty awesome.

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Migrants of Haiti, Jean and Marie Michel met in Florida in 1991, where they had Sony and older brother Marken after leaving daughter Lamise behind in Haiti.

Michel’s mother came to the United States on a ferry with 13 other people at the age of 23.

“I left Haiti for a better life,” she said in an interview with ESPN.

While raising Sony and Marken, Marie still had to find a way to support her family.

“(She) worked hard at various jobs, including as a housekeeper at a hotel, to earn enough money to bring daughter Lamise to the United States in 1996” wrote ESPN.

Though born in Florida, Michel takes great pride in his Haitian culture, as mentioned Monday on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“Before the Super Bowl, I got an interesting video sent to me of some kids with my jersey and number on, telling me good luck in the game and that was inspiring,” Michel said.

It certainly was, as the rookie went on to lead the Patriots to their 6th Super Bowl, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl championships.

However, it’s not all about the glamour and glory for the former Georgia great.

“When I walk on that field, that Michel on my back is not just for me. It’s bigger than me. It’s my family.”

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