High-SchoolFlorida: Sony Michel

Five Days of List-Mas: FL's underclass football stars

December, 13, 2011

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Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The top underclassmen in high school football.

The state championships conclude this weekend, and while the Class of 2012 had its run, it’s never too early to start looking at the impressive players in the Class of 2013 and beyond. Who’s going to rule the gridiron in Florida next season? Here's an early rundown of who to watch for:

5. Sony Michel (SO), Plantation American Heritage, RB
Credentials: Appeared with Kelvin Taylor on the cover of ESPNHS in September but missed virtually his entire sophomore season due to a knee injury. One of the nation's best running back in the Class of 2014, he had 40 total touchdowns as an eighth-grader and freshman.
Taylor/Michel cover
Ren Dittfield/ESPNHSKelvin Taylor and Sony Michel appeared on the cover of ESPNHS Magazine in September 2011.

4. Greg Bryant (JR), American Heritage-Delray, RB
Credentials: Part of Florida's ridiculously loaded crop of Class of 2013 running backs, Bryant had arguably the best season of any back in the state this year while leading the Stallions to a Class 3A state title. He has offers from Florida, Alabama, LSU and about a dozen others.

3. Will Likely (JR), Glades Central, DB/RB/WR
Credentials: The 2011-12 Gatorade State Player of the Year, Likely did it all of a Glades Central team that finished 12-1. He has verbal offers from LSU, Florida, FSU, Miami, Alabama and more.

2. Kelvin Taylor (JR), Glades Day, RB
Credentials: The state's all-time leading rusher (in both yards and TDs), Taylor led Glades Day to back-to-back state titles in 2009 and 2010. He is the son of former Jaguars' great Fred Taylor.

1. Derrick Henry (JR), Yulee, RB
Credentials: A huge back at 6-3/235, Henry has rushed for more than 7,000 yards in his first three seasons — more, in fact, than Taylor (who started as an eighth-grader) had through his first three. He's also put tiny Yulee on the map. Henry has verbally committed to Georgia.

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Tomorrow: The POWERADE Florida Weekly Basketball Rankings.

Mag: Sony Michel, Kelvin Taylor run Florida

August, 23, 2011
ESPNHS FloridaRIKU/ESPNHSFlorida's Sony Michel (left) and Kelvin Taylor are two of the nation's top running backs.

Copies of the ESPNHS Florida magazine start hitting schools (or homes) this week, and running backs Kelvin Taylor of Glades Day and Sony Michel of Plantation American Heritage are on the cover. Check out this eyebrow-raising quote from Michel, a sophomore: “Everybody wants to go to the NFL. I want to be in the Hall of Fame.” Michel and Taylor are different kinds of backs and different kinds of kids, but they do have some surface similarities:
Each of them is arguably the nation’s top running back in his respective class. Each has started since the eighth grade, putting up crazy stats against older competition. Each will have a scholarship to a Division I powerhouse of his choosing. Each is 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds. And each hails from South Florida.

But perhaps the most jarring similarity, at least to the other football teams in the state? Neither is a senior.

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