At one point, Michael Dyer was one of the key pieces to a BCS National Championship run with the Auburn Tigers. But distractions and missteps off the football field forced the running back out of college football completely in 2012 and into an Arkansas Baptist classroom. Now, he’s looking for another opportunity to get back on the football field. Could Willie Taggart and the South Florida Bulls be the program where he finds redemption?
It certainly wouldn’t be his first choice, thought it may end up being his only option. When he first began his search for a new school, programs such as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Troy Trojans, Marshall Thundering Herd and UAB Blazers showed significant interest. Concerns over his past, however, turned many of these programs cold on accepting Dyer into the fold and has extended the running back’s search into the summer.
If it were up to Dyer, he would be playing for his home state Arkansas Razorbacks. Dyer has said if he were allowed an opportunity just to walk on with the team, he would enroll at Arkansas immediately. Unfortunately for him, the Hogs haven’t shown much interest in bringing the troubled Dyer in even as a walk-on. That has pushed Dyer further east to find a possible new home in South Florida.
According to reports, Dyer was in Tampa over the weekend visiting USF to see if the Bulls had what he was looking for in a new program. Taggart has been aggressive with transfer players this offseason and could rely on a pair of them already to guide the team through his first season with defensive end Aaron Lynch and quarterback Steven Bench. Adding another transfer ready to make an impact in Dyer could be a major boost to the Bulls’ chances in 2013.
Taggart has the unfortunate task of replacing the three leading rushers from the Bulls’ roster in 2012. The only player with significant experience is senior Marcus Shaw, who gained just 248 yards last season. But Shaw isn’t a perfect fit for Taggart’s power running game and there is no clear challenger behind him for carries. That creates a need that Dyer could fill very well for the Bulls in 2013, given that his past issues away from the football field are left in the past.
He is a high risk option, but Michael Dyer has the talent to be a considerable upgrade to the USF backfield in 2013. Should that talent be enough to persuade Willie Taggart to welcome the running back into the program?