Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer earned the offensive MVP honor in the 2011 BCS National Championship game, and now he’s simply hoping to land a spot with a mid-major. Having earned a two-year degree at Arkansas Baptist, while putting past transgressions behind him, Dyer is seeking a home to play out his final two years of eligibility. Although he was reported to have received interest from TCU and Louisville, it appears as though Dyer will have to settle for a non-BCS option.
Dyer’s rapid descension from burgeoning elite college football running back to multifaceted nuisance has been well documented. There was his suspension from Auburn for a failed marijuana test prior to the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl, which he followed up with a dismissal from Arkansas State for being found in possession of a gun and suspected marijuana during a traffic stop. Dyer, who had transferred to Arkansas State, never even made it onto the field following his departure from Auburn. Dyer also testified last April that a gun used in an armed robbery by his former Auburn teammates was his. On top of it all, Dyer’s eligibility for the 2011 National Championship game was even disputed by former teammate, Mike McNeil.
This is how you disappoint people.
Lost somewhere in the distraction that was Dyer’s off-field activity is the fact that he was a very productive running back in two seasons at Auburn. Dyer rushed for 2335 yards and 15 touchdowns over his freshman and sophomore campaigns. Lest we forget his memorable run in the dying minutes of the 2011 National Championship, that ultimately set Auburn up for the victory over Oregon.
Now, having sworn off guns and synthetic marijuana, Dyer would like a shot at demonstrating that he’s a changed person. Dyer, via ESPN:
“I want a chance to show people my character is better than it was in the past. I want to clear my name. I understand the reasons I am in this situation. I placed myself here. I take responsibility.”
He would add that he understands why bigger programs like TCU and Louisville would pass on him, but reiterated that he’s changed his ways. Dyer’s uncle, who has spoken on his behalf before, claims that his nephew has drawn interest from a pair of Sun Belt programs in Troy and Western Kentucky.
If a non-BCS squad is willing to take the risk, then Dyer could put up some serious yardage numbers if the talent is still there. That’s a big ‘if’, though. Unlike Darrian Miller at Kansas and Jesse Scroggins at Arizona, Dyer is looking for a third chance to prove himself, not a second one.
The NFL supplemental draft is still option for Dyer, but his focus remains on returning to school first. “I think I’m going to play ball again. I think I’m going to be everything I was supposed to be. I don’t want to be a person who ends up as a nothing. My heart and my dreams are still alive. They’re still there,” Dyer told Joe Schad at ESPN.
Retaining that heart and dreams is all well and good, but for Dyer it’s the head that’s the thing. If he can keep it clear then he might have a shot. Otherwise he’s just another flameout whose problems outweighed his production.