Michael was originally a biomedical engineering student but switched to business because the latter better fit with his athletic schedule. He breezed into the IB program with his 3.8 GPA and says he quickly realized this change in major was a serendipitous one, given his passion for business and travel. He has dreams of learning many languages and imagines himself working in Spain, London or another big city or country.
“Every student I see, I’m like, ‘You need to go abroad!” he says.
Michael’s academic discipline stems mainly from his upbringing.
“It’s something my parents have always stressed, and if I didn’t make a good grade, there was definitely a punishment,” he says. No matter how high his grades are, his dad still calls and asks, “How’s your school work coming? Got any tests this week?”
Outside of class, Michael attends Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings and cites religion as a big influence in his life. He balances a seriousness for his studies with a sense of humor and positivity. He remembers his most embarrassing moment in college, which happened before the Arkansas game.
“I was warming up, and the zipper on my pants popped, and I couldn’t fix it,” he says. Team managers weren’t able to bring him a new pair in time. “I had fans yelling at me, ‘Your fly’s down!’ trying to help me out.”
Michael spreads goodwill by mentoring an A.C. Moore Elementary School student, Zach, once a week.
“I’ve been blessed with the platform that I’ve been given—to help other people, and as athletes, I think that’s what we should do with our notoriety,” he reasons.
This stellar student is clearly more than just a star on the field.
“A lot of people define what they do as who they are, but to me, there’s a separation,” he says. “Baseball doesn’t define who I am.”
Bet you didn't know that Mike...
1. Watches “The Bachelor” on Monday nights
2. Loves noshing on DunkAroos (which he says can be bought at the Dollar General on Bluff Rd.)
3. Hates when toilet paper rolls are upside down
4. Votes Pauly D as his favorite “Jersey Shore” cast member
5. Has a thing for watches, sunglasses and shoes
6. Is currently obsessed with Tiesto (so, somebody hook the boy up with tickets?)