Why Sony Michelle from South Florida thinks of Ricky Williams when joining Dolphins – Reading Eagle

Sonny Michelle knows what it means to be a fugitive at number 34 for the Miami Dolphins.

Growing up in South Florida, becoming what would one day be a 5-star recruit at American Heritage High School, it was Ricky Williams who published two of the highest sums in a single season in Dolphins history in 2002 (the 1853-yard franchise record) and 2003. (1372).

“Everyone knows it’s a big number,” Michelle said in her first interview with her hometown team after Tuesday’s organized team session. “Ricky Williams led the ball hard here and made a lot of numbers. I can’t rock it just to rock it. I have to come here and work. “

Michelle, 27, who signed with Dolphins last week, was just 7 years old when Williams put up a Dolphins franchise badge. He said he never had any memorabilia of Williams at that young age, but he had some from Miami who ran back to the following years with Ronnie Brown and Reggie Bush on his wall as he got older. Williams, who shamefully retired for the first time before the 2004 season, later returned to team up with Brown in the Dolphins’ backfield, the most memorable of the 2008 season, which marked the start of the Wildcat attack and Miami’s last Eastern Division title.

Michelle became an outstanding NFL defender after a gigantic career in high school that led him to break into the local scene for the first time as an eighth-grader before he was in Georgia.

“For me, it was a process,” Michelle said when asked when he last played football for the South Florida team. “It was a college entry step, and when I was in college, it became an idea or a potential idea to play for the Dolphins.

“It was a dream, an aspiration. I didn’t know how true that would be, but we’re here and I’m excited. It cannot be described in words ”.

Michelle will now be part of a crowded backfield as one of four laureates capable of serving on the NFL. In March, Miami signed with other runners Chase Edmonds and Rahim Mostert. The Dolphins have also retained Miles Gaskin, who has started 17 games in the last two seasons.

“Lots of great runners,” Michelle said. “My whole point is that if you want to be a good runner, you have to compete with great runners. That’s one of the reasons I came here. “

New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is accustomed to having several defenders who may be the result of his experience leading the San Francisco 49ers promotional game for years before he became the offensive coordinator in 2021.

“Competing for the Miami Dolphins is just a good thing,” McDaniel said.

What sets Michel apart from others is that he can be a physical carrier of the ball between selections weighing 5-11,215 pounds. Mostert (5-10, 205) largely waves for his brilliant speed, while Edmonds (5-9, 210) is a dynamic defender who also catches the ball well off the field. Gaskin is listed at 194 pounds.

Michelle’s trip from college for the first time led to him being selected in 2018 as a first-round pick by the New England Patriots. There he achieved instant success, winning the Super Cup as a rookie and slipping 336 yards and six touchdowns in the Patriots ’three playoff playoffs. Earlier this season, Michelle made her first 100-yard run in a 4th-week win against the Dolphins, who came out 3-0.

Before last season he moved to the Los Angeles Reims, and he eventually won his second Super Cup.

“I’m just holding my head and working,” he said of what he could bring to the Dolphins from his championship experience. “I think that’s all I know. I think that’s all I will continue to do – and earn the trust of my teammates. “

It’s appropriate that Michelle returns to South Florida in a champion mood. As a senior at American Heritage in 2013, he led the school to its first state football championship. Since then, Heritage have won four more – three of them with former Dolphins corner defender and current assistant defender Patrick Surtine as the school’s head coach. Surtine was in his first year as an assistant at the school when Michelle was a senior.


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