HALLANDALE, Fla. - Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage running back Sony Michel will be just a sophomore this coming season, but the 5-foot-11, 190-pound back needs no introduction. If you have seen him in person, he has made an impression. If you have seen one of highlight tapes online, you will remember his name.
Michel is arguably the most well-known sophomore-to-be in the Sunshine State.
But this past weekend, he was just one of more than 150 prospects attempting to make the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team during tryouts at Hallandale High School.
"It is great to be out here against a lot of competition," Michel said. "I am just out here to have fun and compete, to try to get better."
Michel said that reading up on the Express' tour last year of numerous college campuses and their participation in numerous events really led to his interest in being part of the squad.
"I was reading what (Sports Illustrated) was writing up on them and all of that stuff," Michel said. "It is a great opportunity because not a lot of people get the opportunity to play on a 7-on-7 team like this."
In addition to the experience on the field, Michel said he is looking forward to touring college campuses such as Alabama with the team.
Michel is already a familiar name to college coaches. While he won't be contributing for a college football team until 2014 season, he already has a few colleges that have made it clear that when that time comes he is more than welcomed on their campus.
"I get a couple of letters and I have two verbal offers already, one from Miami and one from Florida State," Michel said.
One of those two, the nearby Miami Hurricanes, are a childhood favorite for the star athlete.
"I grew up a 'Canes fan," Michel said. "My little league, optimus, football team was the South Florida Hurricanes, so I have always been a Hurricane."
This past season, he regularly made it to Sun Life Stadium to see the Hurricanes in action. He saw the up-and-down nature of the 2010 season for Randy Shannon and company and the subsequent changes it led to in Coral Gables. Since those changes occured, Michel has met Miami's new head coach - Al Golden.
"I have met Coach Golden, he seems like a good guy," Michel said. "I am just trying to see right now what he is going to change around the program and what he is going to do with them. He seems like a good coach and a good person."
While the Hurricanes have a leg up on the competition, Michel intends to check out numerous options, which will likely be a majority of the powerhouses in college football.
"I plan to check out a lot of schools before making any decisions," Michel said.
Michel finished his freshman season with 1,667 yards and 21 touchdowns.