home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


December 30, 2017

Sony Michel

Pasadena, California

Q. How's it going?
SONY MICHEL: Going good. I'm here with the media. Can't complain.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Just the overall experience. I mean, not knowing what to expect, and just getting first-class everything, from what the Rose Bowl provides for us, from the facilities, just the way we're treated. It's amazing. It's been a fun experience, and just looking forward to these next couple days.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Shout-out to my family. They're on their way to California right now to enjoy the Rose Bowl. Shout-out to Dawg fans, Dawg Nation, everybody that's coming out to support. And New Year's resolution, next year is going to be an even better one.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, there was really no moment. From the time we stepped on the field, he ran the offense kind of -- he did what he needed to do at the point when he got in. I mean, the offense was ran smoothly when he got in. We had a good drive, that drive, his first drive, so at the moment he was just prepared from the time he stepped on campus. He worked for it so when his number was called he was prepared for his time to play.

Q. How do you manage those reps? You guys have to be arguing, give me the ball, give me the ball. How do you manage that during a game?
SONY MICHEL: It's all around the play call. Coach Chaney does a great job of just getting the playmaker the ball. It doesn't matter who has the ball. At the end of the day, we have one goal. It's to be successful and win games.

Q. When you look at Oklahoma's run defense, you have to be licking your chops. What challenges do they present?
SONY MICHEL: They present a lot of challenges. Yeah, their numbers might speak differently, but Oklahoma has a good defense that runs to the ball well, plays physical. But at the end of the day, we still have to go out there and play our game.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Ooh, the most fun thing we've done, you know, the Rose Bowl provided, I would say -- I liked the comedy show that they presented for us. That was pretty cool.

Q. The Improv deal?
SONY MICHEL: Yeah. We had a couple guys go up there and rap. We had Richard LeCounte go up there and make the team laugh, which he did all season. It was a great time for team bonding.

Q. What did you think of Kirby Smart when (indiscernible) we never get to see that face. Will you guys give him a hard time tonight?
SONY MICHEL: Not at all. I mean, everybody gives crazy faces sometimes, different reactions to different rides. That ride itself was pretty intense. It was just fun to see.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: We need to be able to just manage it, just to separate all the fan stuff from the game-time stuff, playing football. At the end of the day, we're here to play football, so when it's time to practice, it's time to lock in and focus on our opponent, and when it's time to go out and enjoy ourselves, we do so.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Just like all the leaders, just kind of letting the guys know what we're here for at the end of the day.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: It's a wonderful -- it feels great. It's a wonderful experience. Not many people get to play in it, and there's many great players that have played in this game. It's an honor, and I'm looking forward to it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, yeah, it means a lot because we've seen so many people pave the way for us to get a chance to play in this game. There's so many that came before us, and to be able to play in this game now is almost like (indiscernible), being able to go out there and kind of continue on that legacy.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, it's amazing to just think that I've gotten to be able to add my name to that list. All those great backs that came before me and all those other running backs, it's just amazing to see what's to come.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, Oklahoma, they have a fast defense. It's going to be a key, we're going to have to show up and play at the end of the day. They've got great players, and I'm looking forward to it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: At the end of the day we know whoever Coach calls on is going to play.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, they're fun guys to play with. They have a good, competitive spirit. You know, I enjoy every moment playing with them.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Practice has been pretty good for us. It was pretty tough coming out here adjusting to just being in a different environment, but I think our team handled that well, and I think we've had pretty good practices.

Q. Do you guys worry about moments (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: Not at all. Our team, we're prepared for moments like this, from the off-season until now, we've prepared. This was the business. This moment cannot be any bigger.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I think it's pretty cool just to be a part of it, but at the end of the day, it's football. You've got to go out there and play football. We're still going to put on our pads the same way, but at the end of the day we're going to go out there and compete.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, we've been getting a lot of attention, but at the end of the day we've got to turn our focus on what's important, and what's important right now is Oklahoma.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Buying in because every single player in this building right now is buying into what he has for us, his plan, and you can see it work, and it's paid off. Everybody came, they worked hard, and look where it got us now.

Q. Was it easier to buy in (indiscernible), to obviously know that works?
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, knowing his background, we knew what kind of intensity he was going to bring, what kind of energy he was going to bring, so we were looking forward to the challenge. He has nothing but the best intentions for this team, and he knows how to take this team to the next level.

Q. When you look at this game, how much (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: I mean, when you think about it, it's pretty cool. This is everybody's goal, to get to this game. This is what everybody worked hard for through the regular season and the off-season was to get to this game. Yes, it's pretty cool to play in it because it's a big game, but at the end of the day, you can't make it bigger than what it is. It's a football game, you've got to go out there and just compete against another opponent.

Q. (Indiscernible). Was there a moment in the season where you kind of had the feeling, hey, we have a pretty good shot at being that team?
SONY MICHEL: I wouldn't say there was a legitimate moment. We took it game by game. But we had ups and downs this season, so it took game by game for us to realize how far we could go in the season. It was hard for us to look in the future. We had to take it day by day, kind of work our way towards this game.

Q. Everybody knows that you've had tough times; what has that been like for all of you guys, just being able to contribute?
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, we have us three most people talk about, but we have five backs that can do it all. We've got Elijah Holyfield and we've got Brian Herrien. Those guys are not much talked about, but they're in the mix, too. We've got five great running backs that can play right now.

Q. What's that running back room like?
SONY MICHEL: It's pretty cool. It's fun. We've got a great coach, Coach (indiscernible), Coach McGee, and we just compete against each other.

Q. When you take a step back and (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: The outcome of this game. What's going to be the most memorable moment? Everything else is cool and fun, but nobody is going to remember going to Disneyland. They're all going to remember who won the game.

Q. Is there anything that you feel like being involved with this game (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: No. My whole goal is to go out here and be able to contribute for this team, to do what I can to help this team win, whatever it is.

Q. (Indiscernible). What makes you guys all kind of (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: I mean, just for the fact that everybody has each other's back. If you go to anybody, if you have any questions, guys are willing to help each other no matter what the reason is, what the situation is. You know, everybody is just here for each other.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: No, it's my second time out here.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: They're big up front, fast. They're physical. They run to the ball well. That's something that they present that we're going to have to kind of attack.

Q. When you have a young quarterback like Jake, how important is it to get things rolling early?
SONY MICHEL: I wouldn't say -- I mean, it's important whether you have a young quarterback or not to start fast. You always want to start a game fast, and you want to finish strong, and yeah, that's the goal. But at the end of the day, we're going to have his back. He's going to make plays. He's going to have down times, but we're going to be there for him, because at the end of the day, it's the game of football.

Q. What's it like to play alongside a guy like (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: It's pretty cool, just being able to compete with another guy and somebody that's just there to have your back.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: For us, no. As an offense, you know, we're going to do what we do. We're going to try to play fast, physical football, and just go out there and compete and have fun, enjoy it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: This week has been another workweek for me. You know, you've got to try to make it seem like it's another game week. Yes, we have great events that the Rose Bowl provides for us, and it's exciting. But at the same time, they can't be a distraction. You can't get your mind away from the game, and you've got to kind of keep that focus that Coach has been preaching, to keep the main thing the main thing, and I think that's important for us.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I just think it's pretty cool to be able to see the field. It's a very historic field, but I think it'll be even better when we get to play on it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, I mean, our coach, Coach Smart, does a great job with preparing our practice schedule so it doesn't become repetitive. It becomes more competitive for us. He brings -- he presents challenges for us, and as a team as a whole, we're just kind of up for the challenge, and we just kind of take it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, we did more rides. I did every other ride, just not that one.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, kind of, yeah, but at the end of the day, we've been just preparing for a game because everything else is going to just be what really don't matter. What matters is the football game, going out there and competing against another opponent, and we've been preparing for that since day one.

Q. Even though it's a bowl game and a playoff game, there's so much around it. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I'm used to it because I'm a senior. I've been around it. But it's important for us as seniors and guys that have been around bowl games to emphasize to the younger guys that we've got to focus on what's important, and right now it's Oklahoma. Yeah, have fun while we're doing it, but at the end of the day, know what's important.

Q. You've been outspoken about this group (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: Oh, it's established. The standards are high for the players coming back next year, for the players coming in next year. The standards are high. There's high expectations, just from the way we do things at Georgia, from the way we practice, the way we carry ourselves off the field. We've tried to just change the focus overall. I mean, the future is bright. You've got great players, great coaching staff. I'm sure everything is just going to keep rolling.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: D'Andre is a great back. He makes plenty of plays. But also we've got other backs, too, that make plays that don't really get talked about. We've got Elijah Holyfield, we've got Brian Herrien, we've got other guys back there that are going to make plays, but those three coming back, they're going to be amazing.

Q. What excites you the most about stepping out on the Rose Bowl field?
SONY MICHEL: What excites me most is being able to compete against another team after a month-long wait, a great Oklahoma team is going to be fun to compete against. To be able to go out there and just be out there with my teammates for another time, it's going to be wonderful.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I feel good physically. We have great trainers that do a great job with helping us keep our body healthy, making sure we take care of our bodies. But I think Coach does a great job, too, also, of helping our players just stay healthy.

Q. What will be the signature on this game?
SONY MICHEL: To win the game. That's the ultimate goal, to go into every game to get the W.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, most definitely. Shout-out to this year, 2017 SEC champion, headed to the Rose Bowl, headed for victory.

Q. Talk about your teammate Reggie Carter.
SONY MICHEL: He's a linebacker.

Q. What do you think about his personality?
SONY MICHEL: He's a leader for us. He's a leader.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, it's just been great being able to play with guys like him, competing with guys like him. It's just been amazing.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: He's just been able to come out here and just have a good season. He's played well for us. He's led well for us, and he just does amazing things.

Q. Obviously a lot of events here at the Rose Bowl; what's been your favorite part?
SONY MICHEL: Oh, my favorite part, my favorite distraction I would call it, would be the Improv, where we got to see the comedians, just laugh, and it was another chance for us to just bond.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Just knowing how to separate what's important. Yeah, it's okay to have fun, but our main goal and our main task is OU.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, I think it's pretty cool just to be out here. Some of my teammates are probably enjoying it a little bit more than me because after practice I'm just sticking around in the hotel, not really going out, but yeah, I think it's just pretty cool just to be out here. Even getting a chance to go out there and practice at the StubHub Center, different events we get to go to, it's pretty cool.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: The Beef Bowl was good, just to have a chance to go out there and eat some good prime rib, it was pretty cool.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: It's an exciting experience to get the chance to play in a game that so many great players have played in and to have a chance to go out there and compete.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Just how fast they are. Those guys is a group of guys that run to the ball well, and they present a lot of challenges.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Jake Fromm has been a leader since day one. From the time he got on campus, he's led by his character, his performance. Even though he was a starter, he still was willing to learn, teach guys other things, and really just played that leadership role.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I don't think Jake Fromm has to do anything different from what he's been doing. He's just got to go out there and play his game.

Q. Looking back to the Notre Dame game (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: The night before the game?

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: It's going to be -- I would say the bus ride over to the stadium will be an emotional kind of high I would say. But I'm going to use it to kind of relax, listen to slow music, keep emotions running low.

Q. Do you have a playlist that you want to share back to Atlanta?
SONY MICHEL: No, I don't really have a playlist. I have some slow music, and I'll throw some of that on.

Q. What's this whole experience been like?
SONY MICHEL: This experience has been pretty cool, just to get an opportunity to be out here with all my teammates and being able to go to different events, go through practice, just have fun, enjoy each other's company.

Q. What did you know about the Rose Bowl before you came out here?
SONY MICHEL: I kind of just knew a little bit, just how many great players played in this game, how historic this game is, how important this game is, and how much it means to so many football fans, and it's amazing that we get this opportunity to play in this game.

Q. What has been your favorite part?
SONY MICHEL: My favorite part of the week as in like activities?

Q. Yeah.
SONY MICHEL: Would be probably the Improv, seeing some of the comedians make the team laugh, another opportunity for us to do team bonding, so that was pretty cool.

Q. What about The Beef Bowl?
SONY MICHEL: The Beef Bowl was amazing, too, to have our team out at dinner eating together, having some good prime rib. It was pretty cool.

Q. How many plates did you have?
SONY MICHEL: Yesterday I only had one. Yeah, got to watch my weight.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: It means a lot to come back and accomplish so much. But yeah, we're here, but now we've got to finish. We started fast and started successful. Now we've just got to finish strong.

Q. What is the biggest challenge about Oklahoma?
SONY MICHEL: The biggest challenge would be finishing plays. Those guys finish plays well. Their defense, they're fast, they're physical, they run to the ball well, so we've got to just finish plays.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Never bought someone roses, but I think it's a good idea to start.

Q. What are some of the things (indiscernible) a young player like Jake?
SONY MICHEL: Most teams will stack the box. That's what most teams try to do.

I wouldn't say so. We won 12 games doing it. He's a young quarterback in you guys's eyes, but he's a guy that has experience to us. He knows what he's doing. He does everything for this team, and he's just going out there to have fun.

Q. When you have a style of running back like (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: We're all similar in ways. You know, we go by rules of the game, by one coach, Coach McGee. He treats us all the same way, so I think we all do things pretty much similar.

Q. What's it like to be out here? This is about as far away from Georgia as you can get. It's unusual to see a Georgia team out here.
SONY MICHEL: It's pretty cool just to get the experience to come out to a bowl game like this, the Rose Bowl, and it's just amazing to get a chance to play in a game like this.

Q. It's kind of really about winning two games, isn't it, or do you not look at it that way?
SONY MICHEL: I mean, yeah, you have to win two games to cap off the season, how every team in the country wanted to go, but you have to take it game by game. You can't overlook this game and focus on the next game. Our main focus is this game. We've got to do what we've got to do to prepare and play this game well, and that's our focus.

Q. I know you're not on the field yet, but being in a game with the Heisman winner, does that mean anything to you?

Q. Talk about how you're going to rise up to defend a guy like that?
SONY MICHEL: Oh, yeah, our defense loves challenges. We present so many challenges to them in practice as an offense when we're good-on-good, so I'm excited to see how these guys rise up to this challenge.

Q. They score a lot, but their defense gives up (indiscernible) so kind of a contrast there. Do you go into a game anticipating how scoring might go?
SONY MICHEL: I never go into a game anticipating. At the end of the day, you've got to go out there and play, play the game, and the best team that day will win.

Q. When you're out there on the field for kickoff, what do you think it might be like?
SONY MICHEL: I think it'll be pretty cool, but it won't really hit home until probably after the game or days after the game.

Q. Was there any point this year that you (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, from the outside perspective, everybody would say they're so much better, but from our perspective, yes, they've gotten better. Last year they almost had two thousand-yard backs, which this year they're on the verge of having, too. For people to say they weren't good last year, it wouldn't make any sense because they had a thousand-yard back and an 800-yard back, and this year they've already got a thousand-yard back. Yes, they improved from last year, which is the ultimate goal, a goal for our team, and just for those guys, they set their standards high.

Q. I know you don't deal with it directly, but everyone says their style is so unique. What do you see?
SONY MICHEL: I think it is unique. So much -- I mean, you would think he would bring so much intensity, but his respect for the game, his respect from the players are just on another level where he teaches in his own style.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: No, it never was, because anything outside our locker room is just a distraction. It brings another distraction to the team, and distractions just interfere with our goals and our business for the team. So that was never really a conversation we had in our locker room.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: No, we kind of just -- yeah, we see it happening, so we just let the professionals that's on a bigger platform handle it. I think whoever stands up to it, I think it's their right to do so.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I just chose the school that was best for me as a football player. I had to overcome the childhood dreams. I had to look at what was best for me, what's going to help me elevate my game to the next level, and what school was going to provide the best opportunity for me overall, whether it's education, social life, and on the field, and I thought the University of Georgia was the school for me.

Q. What other schools approached you?

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, there was really no list for me. Recruiting today is so different. There's lists, there's top this. For me, I'm like, this is the school for me, so there was no list for me, no rankings. I just picked the school I was going to go with and tried to not make it as big of a deal.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, I mean, I didn't know much about him. I knew who he was. I knew of him. But not much about him coming out of high school.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: At the time, no, I didn't, because I was in on that play. I was blocked in, so I didn't get to see it. Looking back on highlights, I thought it was a pretty cool catch. It was an important catch for us. It helped us get big points, and it was a catch that helped us ultimately win the ballgame.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, it's all about, I guess, perspective. There's many plays being made, but him making that play, whether it was one-handed or not, it was an important play for our team. Like I said, it added points to the scoreboard, which it was a close game, so it could have been a difference between winning and losing the football game.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: To sit here and think about, no, but I'm sure there is. But I can't really think of one right now. But there's many plays this season that can make a season from what it is to what it could have been.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Who, Jake? I mean, he's pretty unique. For a freshman to come in and be a starting quarterback for a Rose Bowl football team is pretty cool.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Yeah, it is. It's pretty cool for him. I'm excited for him, and just can't wait to see what's in store for him.

Q. When did you realize this guy's got it, that he can do it? Was it before he even played?
SONY MICHEL: It was just about him stepping up and stepping in the game and being that leader, coming in the game not being a freshman and just kind of going in and playing the quarterback role.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: It's all about being prepared. It's almost like taking a test at school. If you're not prepared, you won't go into the test confident. But he was prepared from day one. He watched extra film. He went out there with the receivers. He was prepared for his moment.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: It's all about patience, composure, and want-to, how bad do you really want to play. What are you willing to sacrifice to play. Is it time away from video games to go study? Is it late-night sprints or extra little things that you can work on to help your game? I think that's what it is, it's all about sacrifice.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: Oh, yeah. I mean, I guess that's just his personality. Just kind of stick to it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I'm not sure. I mean, that's what most people talk about, but I'm not sure. I don't know what God has in store for me. It may not have made a difference. But I know I've done enough for this team to be successful. If that's the case, then I'm going to take it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: You know, we never really thought about -- I mean, at that moment, we just thought about winning that game. We didn't think about anything in the future. It was the first game of the season, so all we're thinking about is just finishing this game.

Q. Did you guys ever have time to go back and (indiscernible)?
SONY MICHEL: Of course. That's just part of football, a part of the game of football. You're going to face adversity, and it's all about how you respond.

Q. Talk about going up against Oklahoma's defense.
SONY MICHEL: I mean, the key is to go out there and play our brand of football, fast, physical, and just finishing plays.

Q. What has it been like for you guys playing with a freshman quarterback all year. How have you guys made it easier for him?
SONY MICHEL: I mean, playing with a freshman quarterback is all about just having his back. He's another teammate, and we've just got to have his back whether he's doing good or not.

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, yeah, they put up a lot of points, but our job is to go out there and do what we do best.

Q. What do you make of Baker Mayfield?
SONY MICHEL: He's a Heisman Trophy winner. He makes plays.

Q. He's a pretty confident guy, though, huh?

Q. (Indiscernible).
SONY MICHEL: I mean, our ultimate goal is to win in the game. We go into every game just wanting to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297