"First, thank you for coming. I will make this brief and will not waste much of your day. Also, let me say I am very nervous. Let me thank my coaches, Coach Freeze, Harrington, my OL Coach Tim Long and even Coach Saunders, all of my coaches at Briarcrest and my teachers at Briarcrest, who are the best the in the world, and especially my principal, Mr. Steve Simpson.
"This was a very tough
decision but when it came down to it I had to follow my heart. And I just couldn't
imagine myself trying to block my teammate Justin Sparks' field goal, nor could
I have my sister Collins on the sideline cheering for a school that I'm not
playing for. So today I am committing to play for the Ole Miss Rebels."
The following questions were answered at today's press conference:
Do you plan to play basketball at Ole Miss? "Not really, but if I can, I will."
What were the deciding factors in your decision? "It was close to home, it's in the SEC, and Justin Sparks is on their team as well. That way I can be with him."
At any point, were you really considering Memphis? "Yes sir, they were very close. It was right at home. You know they are coming up in football, but I wanted a chance to play in the SEC. Ole Miss was right there for me."
When did you come to this decision? "Probably Saturday night. Me and Coach Freeze talked about it in San Antonio. It was the best decision for me."
Did anything happen to make you think Ole Miss for sure? "Not really. It was just in my heart to go to Ole Miss."
How much have you seen of Ole Miss? "I went down there about 3 times this year and three games. It was just fun every game I went to. I enjoyed it more each time."
You can always change your mind, as this is just a verbal; right? "No, no, I am going to Ole Miss."
What do you think of Coach Orgeron? "He is a very exciting guy. He knows what he is doing. He has some national championships under his belt. I think he will win some games."
Coach Freeze, what is your take on Michael's decision? "I wanted Michael to do what was in his heart. All along, I personally felt like it was between Tennessee and Ole Miss. I asked Michael every question I know to ask about what he wanted out of football. I think again, the decision came down to Michael wanting to play in the SEC, and to stay close to the family he has created here in Memphis."
Coach Freeze; is it true you are going to be joining the Ole Miss staff? "First, let me say, it is just flattering to even be thought of for a job at Ole Miss. But, I have not been offered a job, and this day is for Michael. Lets let him have his day."
Michael; what kind of impact did your coaches have with you? "Coach Freeze is a great coach. He told me, if you go to Ole Miss, you have a chance to play early. He got me to where I am today."
Did Justin Sparks push you to Ole Miss the last couple of days? "No, he has been down in Mississippi hunting the last couple of days (laugh). A couple of weeks ago, he did tell me to think Ole Miss everyday. It did start sticking in my head."
Did Chris Spencer's decision to go pro early help Ole Miss? "A little bit. It is just another spot open. I just want to play as a freshman, so yea, it kind of did."
Did you get a chance to speak with Derek Pegues at the Army All-American bowl? "Yea, I talked to Derek. I think he is coming to Ole Miss. I told him I was committing yesterday. He knows I am coming."
Are you two now talking back and forth? "Oh yea, everyday."
Do you feel like the weight has been lifted off of your shoulders? "Yea, I can study more now. I am going to hit the books hard so I can play next year."
Michael carries a 2.6 GPA and needs a 17 on the ACT to become a full qualifier.