Super Bowl 53: Todd Gurley and Sony Michel in 'perfect' spots, says ex-Georgia team-mate

Video sony muchel playing against todd gurley

Ex-college team-mates Todd Gurley and Sony Michel landed with “perfect” teams for them when they were drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, according to former Georgia colleague Brendan Douglas.

Gurley and Michel, both starting running backs who were drafted in the first round by their respective NFL teams, have returned to the state where they played college football for Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta.

Rams star Gurley was taken 10th in the 2015 NFL Draft, three years before Michel was selected as the 31st pick by the Pats, but the pair were on Georgia’s roster in 2014 when future Cleveland Browns back Nick Chubb was the team’s leading rusher.

Douglas was the fourth running back on the depth chart that year and he believes extrovert Gurley was made for the bright lights of LA, while Michel suits the team-first environment in New England.

“Sony was quiet when he came in and he’s still a pretty quiet guy… Todd’s not quiet – as you can probably see,” Douglas told Omnisport.

“They’re a lot alike as far as players – explosive, can catch the ball well, and run the ball well. But, as far as personality, Todd was very comfortable and talked a lot.

“It’s panned out perfect for both of them. They’re happy where they are and obviously both in the Super Bowl. The cities and the organisations kind of fit their personalities a little bit.”

Michel’s head coach Bill Belichick would likely have taken a dim view of Gurley’s Instagram post after the Rams’ victory over New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

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He uploaded a photoshopped picture of him swapping shirts with an official after a controversial no-call left the Saints furious.

And Douglas insists Gurley was being tongue-in-cheek again this week when he suggested he had to teach Michel to “run and catch” when he first came to Georgia.

“He jokes around about it, Sony was good as soon as he came on campus,” Douglas added.

“Todd definitely took those young guys under his wing, coached them and helped them out wherever he could.”

Douglas arrived at Georgia ahead of Gurley’s second campaign, with the future Rams back having accrued over 1,500 yards from scrimmage and scored 17 touchdowns as a freshman.

“[He was] the most naturally talented athlete that I’ve ever seen up in person,” Douglas said.

“Just being able to be the best player on the field whenever he wants to be… flipping a switch and being the best guy out there.”

Gurley was uncharacteristically quiet on the field in the victory over the Saints, but Douglas believes one of his former college colleagues will have a huge impact in Super Bowl LIII.

“They’ve played important roles all season,” he noted. “Both of them have the chance to have a big game.

“If somebody plans on running the ball a lot, that guy’s going to have a big game.”