It's clear that leaving Athens will be hard for Sony Michel.
The former UGA running back, who is training for the upcoming NFL draft, penned a farewell letter to Georgia fans in The Players' Tribune. In it, Michel recalled some of his favorite memories during his four years at Georgia. Some were on the football field. One involved a particular restaurant he frequented before home games.
But Michel wanted to ensure Georgia fans knew where he stood when it came to how he felt about them following his collegiate career.
"Mostly, though, I’m going to miss you all," Michel wrote. "My people. Dawg Nation. You all mean the world to me, and it’s been like that since Day One."
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Michel began the letter by recalling how he felt after scoring the game-winning touchdown against Oklahoma in this past season's Rose Bowl.
Soon after he scored the winning points in a walk-off 54-48 victory, Michel -- who was visibly exhausted after the thriller -- wrote that he wanted to get back to the East Coast immediately to soak the win in with those who mattered most.
"Let’s get on that plane right now and get back home to Georgia," he wrote.
Michel also shared his favorite menu item at the local burger joint Grindhouse -- a double, well done with pepper jack cheese, barbecue sauce and ketchup -- which is where he, running back Nick Chubb and offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn would frequent before games. The memories he made with his teammates will forever live on in his mind. The support he received from the Georgia faithful was just as appreciated.
Michel wrote that it meant a lot for fans to treat him like a starting running back, even though he entered the game second behind Chubb, who became a close friend shortly after the two arrived to campus together. The Bulldogs even announced Michel as a starter before games, which made it easier for the former five-star recruit to embrace technically being the No. 2 back.
But despite his collegiate role, Michel just might wind up being the first UGA running back taken in this year's NFL draft.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Michel his third-rated running back behind Penn State's Saquon Barkley and LSU's Derrius Guice. FOX Sports' Peter Schrager appeared on NFL Network's Good Morning Football recently and stated that he wouldn't be surprised to see Michel climb all the way into the top-10 by the time the draft arrives.
As a senior, Michel averaged 7.9 yards per carry while totaling 1,227 yards and 16 touchdowns. He finished his time in Athens third all-time in Georgia history with 3,613 career rushing yards.