When Sony Michel arrived on campus in Athens, eventual first round pick Todd Gurley ruled the backfield. His freshman year was very uneventful, seeing the field in mop up situations and dealing with an injury that sidelined him for a few games. Once Gurley left for the NFL, it was Nick Chubb time. The 2015 season was supposed to be his takeover of the Georgia backfield but a horrific knee injury halfway through the season closed his door, but opened one up for Michel.
Michel ended up winning the team offensive MVP award that year, rushing for 1,161 yards and catching 26 passes. While Chubb came back strong in 2016, Michel proved he was more than worth his fair share of carries. Halfway through 2017, a healthy debate can take place surrounding who is the better NFL prospect. Michel is a hard nosed, overly aggressive runner with an angry style that rarely goes down on initial contact. He can get his pad level low and drive his feet through tacklers, always wanting more. There is a sense of urgency to his running style, a constant state of hunger. For such a thick back, he shows the late wiggle to avoid hits, which allows him to fall forward and gain extra yards. Michel is a reactionary runner but lacks some of the natural vision and easy instincts pre-snap. He fails to see the initial running lanes and will often find himself playing catch up, trying to create on his own instead of taking what the defense gives him.
Michel has averaged more yards per carry than Chubb each of the past three seasons (including so far in 2017) and after seeing these two on the same field multiple times this year, Michel has the edge in terms of his long term prospects especially considering there isn’t a serious knee injury on his report.