Michel's ready to return
Sony Michel
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jun 5, 2012
Chad Simmons


Sony Michel ran for over 1,500 yards as an eighth grader on the varsity level at American Heritage. He has been a big name in South Florida for years, but he missed his sophomore season due to an ACL tear. He is on his back to be even better now though.

"Sony Michel has been completely cleared and he actually ran the third leg of our 4x100 team that won state here," said American Heritage head coach Jeff Dellenbach.

"The doctor and I made the decision to hold him out this spring. I do not need Sony in May. The team does not need Sony in May. We all need him this fall, so there was no reason to practice Sony this spring.

"He is doing a great job out there and he is on track to be very good this season. He works extremely hard and he has that mental make-up where he is going to do even more than he is supposed to. He has all the intangibles and he brings his 'A' game every time, no matter what he is doing."

Michel is a 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back that just now finished up his sophomore year of high school. He doesn't really act his age though.

Sony Michel
Michel looks like a college RB today .
"Sony is a very mature young man and he has the right attitude about life," Dellenbach said. "He has fun, he is always smiling, and he just does the right things. He was a little depressed about the injury for about a week, but after that, he returned with a positive outlook, and got to work. He has handled all of this as good as he could."

Coach Dellenbach feels his star back is planning a big comeback this season.

"I think Sony wants to come back with a vengeance," the coach added. "Any time a kid has an injury, they have a hurdle to overcome, but I think that hurdle is very small for Sony. I expect him to come out, take that first hit, then know he is back.

"From that point on, I think it will be a new and improved Sony Michel. I do not know how much a kid like him can really improve, but as hard as he has worked, I expect he will be even better than he was before."

That is saying a lot.

Michel ran for well over 3,000 yards as an eighth and ninth grader on the varsity level. He is a natural running back with vision, patience, balance, and speed. Things come so natural to him and he is blessed with talent.

His coach feels he is the one that is blessed the most.

"Sony is just one of those rare talents that comes along once in a lifetime. He does so many things well, he does so much for our team, and I have him for two more seasons. To have a kid like him on the team means a lot. Not just because of his talent, but because of his talent and his attitude."

College coaches recognized Michel's talent very early on. The soon-to-be junior picked up offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame and others over a year ago.

Despite the injury, things have not slowed down.

"Nothing changed for me after Sony got hurt last year," Dellenbach said. "Coaches still call, coaches still come through, and just about all of them ask about Sony. We have plenty of 2013 prospects too, but within the first few minutes, they want to know about Sony. My phone still rings often about Sony."

The phone of Sony Michel will start to ring in the future with coaches calling him personally as he closes in on Signing Day 2014 in about 20 months.

He is not even thinking about that right now. The future Scout100 running back out of Plantation, Fla. is focused on getting back on the field.

"I am feeling better every day and I am excited about getting back in the groove," Michel said. "It is all coming back to me now. I have been working out, running track, and just doing what the doctors tell me to do. All is getting back to normal and I can't wait to get back out there with the pads on."

Sony Michel
He keeps smiling while working.
Many others are excited about that time too.

So many eyes have been on Michel since he started scoring touchdowns at a young age. With that much talent comes high expectations and he knows a lot of eyes will be on him when he returns to action this fall.

"I have thought about that some, but I think to myself that I can just take one step at a time," Michel said. "I know people will be watching me and there will be questions, but I cannot worry about that. I just have to do my thing, do what the coaches ask me to do, and go from there."

The rehabbing process is behind Michel now and he knows the future is bright.

"I just can't wait to get back out there. It was tough to watch the games at first last year, but I just tried to support and help my teammates as much as I could. I have been working hard and I have been thinking about scoring that first touchdown."

Recruiting is completely wide open right now for this phenom out of South Florida. He may take a visit or two this summer, but he is taking things slow.

He said the process is getting even harder with all the offers, but he is only thinking about getting back on the field right now.

"I watched our spring game recently and I was just happy about that being the last game that I watch," Michel said, laughing. "The next game we play, I will be a part of. I am that close to getting back on the field and that is exciting.

"Recruiting is not the focus for me. If I do not get back on the field, then I will not be recruited, so getting on the field to help my team this fall is my main focus right now."

Here is video Scout shot of Michel running routes before American Heritage's spring game on May 23:

Scout's Chad Simmons' Thoughts: Michel has always been a very mature young man and how he has handled the past 10 months has been impressive. He has used the injury as a positive and worked very hard to come back even better than he was. He has all of the tools you look for in an elite running back and he is one of those high school kids that I feel could play college football right now. He is strong mentally, he is an elite running back, and he has a bright future. He knows he is a marked man and so many eyes are on him, but he uses that as motivation. He was cutting with ease, catching pass after pass, and working hard when I saw him in late May. I expect a big return by Michel this fall.

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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