5-star running back Sony Michel is going to be one of the better players from the 2014 class when all is said and done, and his newly released top five really lives up to those expectations.
Michel has named five top-notch programs that are in contention for his commitment, and all five of these programs have a lot to offer the elite running back recruit.
Michel is ranked as the No. 2 running back in the 2014 class and he's the No. 1 recruit from the state of Florida, both according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He's 5'11'', 205 pounds, so he has elite size as just a junior, and he runs a 4.50 40 according to 247Sports—so he also has great speed.
Kipp Adams of ESPN.com reports on Michel's top five:
Five schools are on top for Michel, and one of them could get good news from the 5-foot-11, 205-pound tailback soon.
“I would say I am focusing on Miami, Georgia, Notre Dame, Alabama and FSU right now,” Michel said.
Like I said, those are five top notch programs with a lot to offer the elite running back recruit.
Here's what each program should pitch to Michel:
It comes down to staying close to home for Miami. The Hurricanes aren't yet at the point where they can compete straight up with the likes of 'Bama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Florida, so their best option is to pitch their big advantage—the hometown advantage.
Michel is from Fr. Lauderdale, Florida, which is only about just over a half hour away from Coral Gables, and he just went to a junior day at Miami. The Hurricanes and coach Al Golden really need to focus on being the home-town program for Michel.
Miami is also a program with a lot of potential. The Hurricanes brought in a few very talented recruits through the 2013 class and Michel's possible addition to the program would represent a huge recruiting win for Golden and his staff.
Michel could come in and help change the tide at Miami, and perhaps be key figure in the revival of Miami football. The hometown hero pitch is extremely effective if it's realistic.
Georgia has a great history of producing running backs, and the Bulldogs always boast a strong running game. Right now, the Bulldogs feature two star running backs in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who will both be juniors by the time Michel would come aboard.
He would have the chance to be a great No. 3 behind both players and eventually the NFL will come calling for both backs.
At that point, Michel is talented enough to compete for the starting job. Georgia should also be in a position to compete for the SEC title on a yearly basis due to strong recruiting.
Eventually being the star running back for a program known for producing great running backs has to be quite a draw, especially if said program can compete to win big games in the SEC.
For Notre Dame, it's all about remaining nationally relevant. The Fighting Irish had a tremendous 2012 season and they became one of the hottest programs in the nation. Notre Dame is always a national draw, but that draw is intensified when it is winning games and competing for championships.
Notre Dame will be a contender for the next few seasons, and that's something that is sure to be a draw for Michel.
He also mentioned that he liked how the Fighting Irish use running backs in a variety of different ways (including the passing game), per Adam's report. Brian Kelly could pitch Michel on being part of a big-time duo in the backfield with 2013 running back commitment Greg Bryant.
Bryant and Michel together could form the best running back combination in college football. Michel could also compete for a national championship or two at Notre Dame, or at least play for a program that will be in that conversation on a yearly basis.
As counterintuitive as this seems considering Alabama's recent success on both the recruiting trail and the football field—the Crimson Tide may have the worst chance to land Michel. This may seem like a bad thing, but I doubt Nick Saban is going to worry about the fact that his depth chart at running back is overflowing with talent.
Alabama landed 5-star running back Derrick Henry, 4-star running back Tyren Jones and 4-star running back Altee Tenpenny on national signing day 2013. Add those three talented backs into the mix with T.J.Yeldon and Kenyan Drake, and you've got yourself quite a crowded backfield. Also, consider the fact that elite 2014 athlete/running back Bo Scarbrough is already committed to Alabama.
Despite all of that though, Alabama's pitch is simple: Play for the Crimson Tide and win national championships.
That pitch seems to be rather effective for Saban and his staff...
Florida State can pitch Michel on the fact that he can still stay in the state of Florida to play football. Instead of being part of a rebuild at Miami though, he could play for a legitimate contender in the Seminoles.
Jimbo Fisher has done a terrific job with recruiting and the Seminoles are set up nicely to be "the team" in the ACC. They should also really make an impact nationally.
The Seminoles scored 39.3 points per game in 2012, and they rushed for 205.9 points per game.
If Florida State can match or improve those numbers in 2013 and perhaps find a way to win a big bowl game or even be in the national championship conversation, it should be a major option with the No. 1 recruit from the state of Florida.
Play for a program that has a chance to dominate the ACC and stay in state. That's a pretty good pitch for the Seminoles.