RUNNING BACK SONY MICHEL
Q: What was your reaction when the Patriots selected you?
SM: I was excited. I'm just honored just to be able to get a call from a prestigious program like the Patriots and it was just so much excitement. No words can really describe what the feeling was like.
Q: Where were you watching the draft from?
SM: I was watching the draft back at home with my family.
Q: Were you expecting to be drafted in the first round?
SM: I wasn't sure. I was kind of just watching it, not really knowing what was going to happen. I was kind of ready for anything to happen, anything to happen at the moment. It was kind of a shocker for it to happen this way, but I'm just tremendously excited and honored.
Q: Why was it a shocker?
SM: I just kind of didn't expect the Patriots to call me. It's one of those deals – this process has been so long and kind of not expecting the call. You're kind of just watching TV and just to get the call before the pick and it's like 'Man, this is neat.'
Q: Did you not expect that because you didn't have much contact with them before the draft?
SM: It wasn't that. Expectations were high, but I was kind of just taking it all in. It just was a shocker to me.
Q: What kind of interaction did you have with Isaiah Wynn after he was drafted eight picks before you?
SM: Isaiah - I shot him a couple of texts. I'm excited for him, especially him being one of my roommates in college. I've seen how hard he works, so I was very excited for him in the moment. I shot him a couple of texts. I knew he had a lot going on so I really couldn't have too much interaction with him, but just talking back and forth I was just expressing my emotions for how I feel about his situation.
Q: What year did you guys room together?
SM: We roomed together our last two years - our junior and senior year.
Q: Was it just the two of you? Were there other people?
SM: Yeah, there were other people. Me, him and Nick Chubb, a lot of people are familiar with and two other guys on the team.
Q: Can you give us a little bit of the vibe you guys all had as roommates?
SM: I mean, it was not much going on. Most of the time we were at football practice. From football practice we would have classes, but when we come back to the house we'd try to enjoy each other's company and just make sure everybody had a good day. Try to end the day on a positive note, and that's kind of what we try to keep consistently to kind of keep things on a positive note.
Q: How would you describe your own running style?
SM: I would just say me, as a player, I wouldn't consider myself a person that can critique styles. I would just say I'm a coachable person, so any way that a coach can coach me to play, I think I have the ability to learn and kind of grasp that information and kind of just put that out on the field.
Q: You occasionally had issues fumbling the ball in college. How do you think that will translate to the NFL?
SM: It's all about being aware of how I carry the football, ball-placement. It's a part of my game that I probably should focus on, work on and I'm sure there's great coaches at the Patriots that are going to be right there emphasizing on ball security, emphasizing on not putting the ball on the ground and that's a very important aspect of this game.
Q: What would you say your strengths are as a runner?
SM: My strengths are just to be able to, I would just say, get positive yards, be able to execute a play whatever my job is on that play. Being able to execute a play well, whether it's blocking, running the ball or catching the ball.
Q: How do you feel about your development in the passing game whether it's as a receiver or in pass protection and how has the Georgia program helped you in that aspect?
SM: I would say just working on the craft every day, not being satisfied with where you are, whether if you're winning or losing games. Being at Georgia, even though we won quite a few games, not being satisfied and being willing to get better every day in practice.
Q: What is it about Coach [Kirby] Smart and the Georgia program that allows them to develop players that the Patriots seem to keep focusing on every year to restock their roster?
SM: It's about the culture and the identity. It's all about grinding and trying to work for what you want because it all starts with work. Nothing is given in this game of football so you've got to be willing to put in the work to get out what you want.
Q: How is your knee holding up?
SM: I'm healthy.
Q: Have you had any interaction with fellow Georgia alums Malcolm Mitchell and David Andrews?
SM: Yeah, I've talked to those guys quite a bit, especially when they have the off weeks because sometimes I'm busy with my football at Georgia and they were busy playing for the Patriots. But when they had time off we would have great interactions. Those guys always come back, give back to the program, are approachable guys that you can just talk to and ask about their experience. It was pretty cool to kind of get that connection and now be able to get to go up there and kind of learn more from them.
Q: What running back would you compare your game to?
SM: I wouldn't say Id compare my game to any running back because in the NFL level those guys that I've watched already accomplished so much, so I wouldn't say I compare myself to [anyone]. I watch guys like Reggie Bush, those style of players. James White, those kinds of guys. Those guys make big plays and those are guys who I look after and I try to just emulate my game after.
Q: Have you heard from David Andrews or Malcolm Mitchell since being drafted, and if not, do you plan on seeking those guys out at all?
SM: I actually haven't heard from them yet, but I'm sure it'll be a pretty cool experience to hear from them very soon here. If I can get them on the phone just to talk about them and tell them how excited I am to learn from them and work with them and just try to be a part of a wonderful organization.
Q: Have you thought about what it will be like to get your first handoff from Tom Brady?
SM: I haven't thought about that because there's so much more than me thinking about coming in and just getting a handoff from Tom Brady. There's levels. I have to work my way to first learn the playbook and buying into their program for me to even get the chance to be able to step on that field and play.
Q: There are various reports out regarding the health of your knee. Can you clarify what the status of your knee is? Is it something that you have rehabbed or is something that you're able to just play through the pain with?
SM: I'm not sure what's out there, but I've been playing with no problems. I don't have any injuries. I'm not sure what you guys are hearing.
Q: Mark Richt was actually the guy that recruited you to Georgia. How big of a role did he play in your development?
SM: He brought a lot and from the standpoint of being a good football player and just being a good citizen. He tried to teach us of coming into college from being young boys to growing up to being young men and just knowing how to handle ourself, learning how to be coachable, just learning how to do things the right way and I think it helped with that transition over to Coach Smart, and Coach Smart kind of just carried us through the rest of my two years with them.
Q: What was it like to split time with Nick Chubb and how do you think that experience could help you here with the Patriots?
SM: It was a wonderful experience. We had so many cool memories. We had moments that were just precious. We had moments where it was not so precious. I'm excited to be a part of an organization that has great running backs, guys I can learn from, and I'm excited just to see what they have to offer. What can they teach me? How much can they teach me? I'm just so eager to know what can they teach me and I'm just excited to have other guys there that I know I can go in there and learn from; words can't describe.
Q: A few analysts have compared you to Alvin Kamara. What are your thoughts when you hear that?
SM: It was a pretty cool comparison knowing that he's done a great job on that level, on the NFL level. But that's as far as I took it. I won't say I'm really big into the hype.
Q: Did you have a chance to interact with Bill Belichick at your Pro Day at all?
SM: I actually didn't get a chance to interact with him.
Q: Did you speak to Bill tonight after you found out you were drafted? What did he say to you?
SM: I talked to him before I was drafted and he just kind of just congratulated me on this special moment and kind of just making sure I'm in the right place and kind of getting ready to come in and be a part of a wonderful organization.
Q: What have you learned from Todd Gurley about the transition to the league given that you were also teammates at Georgia?
SM: Being willing to just compete on the highest level. He's a competitor. There's guys at the Patriots that are competitors because I sit back and I watch those guys at the Patriots just compete, that football team. I know playing with a guy like Todd and getting the opportunity to be able to play with the Patriots - I know I'm going to be able to go in there and just compete and have guys that are going to challenge me every day trying to get the best out of me.