|No. 26 – New England Patriots|
|Born:||February 17, 1995|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school:||American Heritage School|
|NFL Draft:||2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 31|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2020|
|Player stats at NFL.com|
Sony Michel (born February 17, 1995) is an American football running back for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted 31st overall by the Patriots of the 2018 NFL Draft. Michel played college football at Georgia.
Michel's parents emigrated from Haiti a year after his older sister Lamise was born. Michel attended American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida. Michel was the starting running back for the American Heritage Patriots, beginning in his eighth grade year there. As a senior, he rushed for 1,833 yards and 24 touchdowns. Over three years playing on varsity, he rushed for 4,758 yards and 63 touchdowns. He was rated by Rivals.com as a five-star recruit and was ranked as the third best running back and 13th best player overall. Michel committed to the University of Georgia on April 26, 2013 to play college football. Michel's older brother Marken Michel is a receiver for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, and was the 2017 West Division Most Outstanding Rookie with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
Michel also competed in track and field at American Heritage; as a sophomore in 2011, he earned first-place finishes in both the 100-meter dash (10.99s) and 200-meter dash (21.91s) at the FHSAA 2A District Meet. He posted a personal-best time of seconds in the 100-meter dash at the 3rd Annual Miramar Invitational, where he placed first.
As a true freshman at Georgia in 2014, Michel played in eight games and made one start. He missed five games due to a fractured shoulder blade. He rushed for 410 yards on 64 carries with five rushing touchdowns. Michel entered 2015 as a backup to Nick Chubb, but earned extensive playing time. After Chubb was injured in a game against the Tennessee Volunteers, Michel took over as the starter and ran for 145 yards. In the 2016 season, Michel totaled 840 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns to go along with 22 receptions for 149 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.
In 2017, with true freshman Jake Fromm starting at quarterback for the Bulldogs, the team relied heavily on its senior running backs, Chubb and Michel, to carry the load. Despite remaining second in the depth chart behind Chubb, and receiving only two-thirds as many carries as Chubb, Michel had a breakout year, finishing with 1,227 rushing yards (156 carries), only 118 yards fewer than Chubb's 1,345 (223 carries). In a blowout game against Vanderbilt on October 7, Michel rushed for 150 yards and a score on only 12 carries. Three weeks later, in an October 28 rout of Florida, Michel rushed for 137 yards on only 6 carries, scoring twice on runs of 74 yards and 45 yards.
Michel's biggest game of the year came on New Year's Day against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, Georgia's first-ever College Football Playoff game. Carrying the ball only 11 times, Michel ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns, including a walk-off 27-yard rushing touchdown from the "Wild Dawg" formation (direct snap to Michel) to end the game in double overtime. He also added four receptions for 41 yards and a fourth touchdown. For his performance, Michel was named Rose Bowl Offensive MVP.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Bench press|
|5 ft 10+5⁄8 in
|4.54 s||1.56 s||2.62 s||4.21 s||22 reps|
|All values from NFL Draft|
Michel was selected by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the 31st overall pick. He was the third running back to be selected that year. In addition, he was the third of six Georgia Bulldogs to be selected that year. Michel and Isaiah Wynn were the first pair of college teammates selected by the same team in the first round since Auburn players Jason Campbell and Carlos Rogers were taken in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
Michel made his NFL debut in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He rushed 10 times for 34 yards and had a six-yard reception in the 31–20 road loss. Two weeks later against the Miami Dolphins, he had a breakout game with 26 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown in the 38-7 victory. Michel became the first rookie to top 100 rushing yards in a game for the Patriots since Brandon Bolden in 2012. In the next game against the Indianapolis Colts, Michel rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots won 38-24. In the next game against the Kansas City Chiefs, he rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns in a narrow 43–40 victory on Sunday Night Football. In the process, Michel became the first New England rookie to score on the ground twice in a game since Laurence Maroney in 2006. During a Week 12 27-13 road victory over the New York Jets, he ran for a career-high 133 yards and a touchdown, the most rushing yards by a Patriot rookie since Brandon Bolden ran for 137 yards in 2012. This game was his third time breaking the century mark, making him the first Patriots rookie since Robert Edwards did so in 1998. In a Week 16 victory against the Buffalo Bills, Michel had 18 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Michel finished his rookie year with 931 rushing yards and six touchdowns along with seven receptions for 50 yards.
The Patriots finished atop the AFC East with an 11-5 record and earned the No. 2 seed for the AFC Playoffs, including a first-round bye. In the Divisional Round against the Los Angeles Chargers, Michel had 24 carries for 129 yards and three touchdowns in a 41–28 victory. During the AFC Championship against the Chiefs, he ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries in the 37–31 overtime road victory. Michel broke the NFL record for most playoff rushing touchdowns for a rookie, scoring five between the divisional and conference championship games. On February 3, 2019, he scored the only touchdown in Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams, carrying 18 times for a game-leading 94 yards. The go-ahead touchdown occurred in the middle of the fourth quarter in the 13–3 victory. Michel was the leading rusher in the game and extended his rookie postseason rushing record to six touchdowns in three games; he scored six touchdowns in 13 regular-season games. Only Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis has rushed for more touchdowns in a single postseason than Michel; Davis scored eight touchdowns in four games in the 1997 postseason. Michel is the first player since Davis with more than four rushing touchdowns in one postseason.
During Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, Michel rushed 21 times for 83 yards and his first rushing touchdown of the season in the 43-0 shoutout road victory. Three weeks later against the Washington Redskins, he rushed 16 times for 91 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 32 yards in the 33-7 road victory. Two weeks later against the New York Jets, Michel rushed 19 times for 42 yards and three touchdowns in the 33-0 shutout road victory.
Overall, Michel finished the 2019 season with 912 rushing yards and seven touchdowns along with 12 receptions for 94 yards.
Michel was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp on August 2, 2020. He was activated from the list on August 26. In Week 3, Michel recorded 140 scrimmage yards (117 rushing, 23 receiving) in the 36–20 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. He was placed on injured reserve on October 5, 2020, with a quadriceps injury. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Patriots on October 17, 2020, and removed from the list back to injured reserve on October 31. He was activated off of injured reserve on November 21, 2020. In Week 17 against the New York Jets, Michel carried the ball 16 times for 76 yards, and caught 3 passes for 60 yards and his first career receiving touchdown during the 28–14 win. Overall, Michel finished the 2020 season with 449 rushing yards and one touchdown, along with 7 receptions for 114 yards and one touchdown.
The Patriots declined to exercise the fifth-year option on Michel's contract on May 3, 2021, making him a free agent after the 2021 season.
NFL career statistics
|Won the Super Bowl|
- Most rushing touchdowns in a postseason by a rookie: 6
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- "Rivals.com". sports.yahoo.com.
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- "UGA RB Sony Michel carries the load at Tennessee, but fumble haunts him". Online Athens.
- "Sony Michel 2016 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
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- "Georgia survives Oklahoma in classic, back-and-forth Rose Bowl in double overtime". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
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- Princiotti, Nora. "The Chiefs left too much time, and Tom Brady did what Tom Brady has always done". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
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- "Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots – December 23rd, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Sony Michel 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "2018 New England Patriots Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- Thompson, Rich (January 13, 2019). "Rookie Sony Michel powers Patriots past Chargers". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- Perry, Phil (January 21, 2019). "Patriots go on the run to extend their run". NBC Sports Boston. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- Bratton, Michael Wayne (January 21, 2019). "Sony Michel has already set rookie rushing touchdown mark in NFL postseason history". Saturday Down South. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- Wesseling, Chris (February 3, 2019). "New England Patriots win Super Bowl LIII". NFL.com. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Super Bowl 53: UGA's Sony Michel sets rookie postseason TD record". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. February 3, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- "NFL Rushing Touchdowns Single-Season Playoffs Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- "Most rushing touchdowns in a single postseason, NFL history". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- "Newcomer Brown scores as Patriots beat Dolphins 43-0". www.espn.com. Associated Press. September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
- "Brady carries unbeaten Patriots past winless Redskins 33-7". www.espn.com. Associated Press. October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
- "Patriots blitz Darnold, Jets 33-0 to remain undefeated". www.espn.com. Associated Press. October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
- "Sony Michel 2019 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
- DeArdo, Bryan (August 4, 2020). "Patriots place running back Sony Michel, receiver Mohamed Sanu on PUP list, per report". CBSSports.com. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
- Sullivan, Tyler (August 26, 2020). "Sony Michel returns to Patriots practice, setting up intriguing position battle with Damien Harris". CBSSports.com. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
- "Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots - September 27th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
- Callahan, Andrew (October 5, 2020). "Patriots place Sony Michel, Cody Davis on injured reserve". BostonHerald.com. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
- Reiss, Mike (October 17, 2020). "New England Patriots place Sony Michel, Shaq Mason, Derek Rivers on reserve/COVID-19 list". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
- "Patriots' Sony Michel: Removed from COVID-19 list". CBSSports.com. October 31, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
- "Patriots make a series of roster transactions". Patriots.com. November 21, 2020.
- "New York Jets at New England Patriots - January 3rd, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
- Alper, Josh (May 3, 2021). "Patriots pick up Isaiah Wynn's fifth-year option, likely to decline Sony Michel's". NBCSports.com. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
- "WATCH: Sony Michel's record-breaking TD performance in NFL playoffs". DawgNation. February 18, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2020.