Arkansas Razorbacks Should Gamble on Former Auburn RB Mike Dyer
Dyer is responsible for one of the more memorable runs in Auburn history when he appeared to be tackled by an Oregon defender, only to remain on his feet and run 37-yards to set up the game-winning field goal. Everyone thought he was down, but we were wrong and Dyer ran his way into the history books.
Once again, everyone had ruled Dyer down and out after he left Auburn amid controversy and never played a down at Arkansas State. Nevertheless, after graduating from Arkansas Baptist College with his associate’s degree in May and working tirelessly to rehab his image I believe he has earned another opportunity.
Dyer tells George Schroeder of USA Today Sports:
I’ll admit to being in the wrong. I’ll admit to making mistakes. I’m willing to go through the process of fixing them. … I want to go back to the (college) process and do it again, the way I’m supposed to.”
According to Schroeder, Dyer has been the model student and has the endorsement of Arkansas Baptist College president Fitz Hill, who previously coached at San Jose State. Hill understands that teams will be cautious considering his past, but the idea of Dyer playing at Arkansas is “a low-risk, high-reward opportunity.”
That may be true considering Dyer broke Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing totals as a freshman and has two 1,000-yard seasons on his resume in the ultra-competitive SEC, but he’s also been out of football since the 2011 season. Furthermore, accepting any type of risk for a player with a past that includes marijuana use and possessing a weapon used in a crime could be too much for Arkansas or any other BCS team.
But that does not mean that Dyer is not receiving any interest, as Marshall, Western Kentucky and Troy have looked into him. But after competing on the game’s biggest stage in the SEC, he wants the chance to make a team in a power conference.
I doubt that chance will come at Arkansas, who don’t appear to receptive to Dyer’s idea, but I am hoping he gets the opportunity to fulfill his goal somewhere this fall because he has earned it with his behavior off the field and in the classroom. Had he not been a perfect citizen, student and employee who took the time to speak to the youths of his hometown of Little Rock, I would not endorse his return to the game.
During the time away from the field, he has learned about responsibility, humility and accountability. These are traits that are welcomed on the football field and in the locker room. If Razorbacks first-year coach Bret Bielema gives Dyer the chance he is looking for, I believe he will not make them regret it.
History has taught us not to think Dyer’s down, because he just may surprise us all with his ability to get back on his feet.