Yeah, the news about Eason was the big story from yesterday, but this is a pretty big deal, too.
But Friday, head coach Kirby Smart, during an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show, gave his most optimistic outlook on Michel, who suffered a broken left forearm in a July 3 ATV accident, yet.
“I’ve got great confidence in Sony,” Smart said. “He’s worked really hard to get in shape.”
The preface of Finebaum’s question to Smart was about any media reports that suggested Michel didn’t have much of a positive outlook for the season’s start.
Smart said that any reports stating this were not accurate. Since the injury occurred, Smart has played more of a wait-and-see approach with Michel.
While Smart didn’t say Michel would play against North Carolina, his tone was different than in previous comments.
“The kid’s out there doing everything he’s been cleared to do,” Smart said. “He hasn’t been cleared to do everything. He looks great. He’s running. He’s doing 7-on-7. He’s in a black jersey. He was returning kicks yesterday. He’s doing a lot of positive things. It’s just he hasn’t been cleared to play yet.
“We won’t know that and it may even be a game-time decision.”
Sounds to me like they’re preparing as if Michel will play. Add to that Elijah Holyfield’s return and the disappearance of Nick Chubb’s brace, and the running back corps is in a different place than even the most optimistic of us expected.
It may also be one reason the coaches are turning to Eason as the starter.