Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer is returning to college football as a member of the Louisville Cardinals. After taking a two year sabbatical from the game he loves in the wake of drug and gun related incidents, he has received the second chance he has been searching for.
Louisville was able to offer Dyer a scholarship and acquire his services immediately because of the fact that last year Michael Dyer graduated from Arkansas Baptist College, reinstating his eligibility. He will take the field as a junior when the season begins this year.
He has not played a down of football since 2011.
“He’s excited to have an opportunity to resume his career,” Fitz Hill, Dyer’s mentor and the president of Arkansas Baptist College, told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday evening. “Many people doubted that Michael would ever make this comeback, and it’s here.”
Michael Dyer himself could not be reached for comment, and Louisville is prohibited from commenting until he officially enrolls in the school.
After a promising start to his collegiate career at Auburn that saw him rush for over 1,000 yard in each of his first two seasons, things took a turn for the worse. Dyer was the Auburn offensive MVP during their BCS National Title Game victory in 2011. He was suspended from the team in 2012 after failing several drug tests.
Admitting to making some mistakes, Michael Dyer said that he did use both marijuana and synthetic marijuana referred to as ‘spice.’ He also testified in the trial of four teammates, telling the court that the weapon used was his .45 caliber pistol, however he claimed it had been taken from him without his permission. The gun had been legally purchased.
Following his suspension, Dyer transferred to Arkansas State in January 2012, but was dismissed from their football team after another run in with the law captured the public eye. Cited for going 96 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone. A hand gun was also confiscated from his trunk by a State Trooper despite the fact that it was being stored unloaded in a backpack.
These problems will not be an issue for either Michael Dyer or Louisville moving forward in the eyes of the running back’s mentor. “Based on what he has done at Arkansas Baptist College, I don’t have one negative,” Hill explained.”I can’t talk about (what happened at) Auburn or Arkansas State, but I can talk about Arkansas Baptist College. It’s been all positive.
“Everybody you talk to thinks he’s an ex-felon,” Hill added. “He’s not an ex-anything.”
By joining the Louisville Cardinals, Michael Dyer has positioned himself well for another run at an NCAA National Title. The Cardinals are already considered by many to be a dark horse contender for the BCS title game this season thanks to Heisman Trophy hopeful quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The team will be looking to build on last year’s Sugar Bowl victory over Florida, as well as an 11-2 record.
Should Dyer emerge as the player he was at Auburn, his pairing with Bridgewater could become similar to the duo he formed with Cam Newton at Auburn. If defenses have to account for Dyer as they do for Bridgewater, the Louisville offense has the ability to outscore anyone it steps on the field with this season.
Michael Dyer says that he has turned the corner, he will have to prove it if he wants to continue his football career past this season with Louisville. If he has, the Cardinals just gained an NFL caliber talent and became an immediate contender.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express