Michael Dyer had a bright future ahead of him. A five-star running back coming out of high school, Dyer initially lived up to his promise in college before ultimately placing that future in doubt.
In his first year, Dyer broke Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record at Auburn, rushing for 1,093 yards. Then, he won the MVP in the BCS national championship game against Oregon, leading the Tigers to a 22-19 victory with 143 yards rushing including a memorable 37 yard play where he was tackled onto Eddie Pleasant’s leg but never hit the ground and continued on running to put the Tigers in position for a game-winning field goal.
On the field, his sophomore season seemed an appropriate follow-up to his record-breaking inaugural year. Dyer rushed for 1,242 yards as the featured star in the Auburn offense.
Off the field, however, Dyer had repeated run-ins with the coaching staff, confirmed usage of the drug known as “spice,” and was eventually kicked off of the team.
Leaving Auburn did not improve the situation for Dyer. He transferred to Arkansas State, following Tigers’ offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn (who has since returned as head coach of Auburn) before ultimately being dismissed from the Red Wolves and heading to Arkansas Baptist College.
Now, Dyer might be getting that second… or, actually, third chance that he has been waiting for.
Despite the wariness of many programs to take on Dyer, it appears the former Auburn star could be headed into an incredible situation. Reigning Orange Bowl champion, the Louisville Cardinals, appear poised to take the talented back and the former Tiger has applied for enrollment.
With their top two running backs coming off knee injuries and the Teddy Bridgewater-led Cardinals talented enough to contend for another BCS berth, this could be the perfect situation for Dyer.
Bridgewater, a Heisman contender, was direct with ESPN’s Joe Schad, telling him that the Cardinals would happily “take [Dyer] and welcome him” into their program.
Head coach Charlie Strong was intentionally a little more vague. “A lot of times you say to people you’re giving a second chance,” Strongsaid. “As a coach, the only thing you want to do is just make sure youhave an impact on a young person’s life. You want to make sure that ifyou bring anyone into your program, he’s going to become part of yourprogram and you’re not going to become him. That’s what I always say.”
Due to sitting out last season, Dyer would be able to play immediately, and he would be a tremendous asset to the talented Louisville team as combining Bridgewater with a talent like Dyer would likely make for one of the best backfields in the nation.
The question remains, however, in what will likely be his last chance: will Dyer fulfill the promise of a career once on the rise? Or, will this prove to be the final strike for a highly talented player who, thus far, has seemed intent on ruining his career?