According to USA Today, former Auburn star Michael Dyer is transferring to Louisville, where he'll form one of the most explosive offensive duos in college football with Heisman contending QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Michael Dyer will form an explosive offensive duo with Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater
Fitz Hill, the President of Arkansas Baptist College and Dyer's mentor, told USA Today Thursday night that the talented running back has accepted a scholarship to Louisville, where he plans to enroll next week. Louisville opens fall camp Tuesday, August 6.
"He's excited to have an opportunity to resume his career," Hill told USA TODAY Sports. "Many people doubted that Michael would ever make this comeback, and it's here."
"He looked in (Strong's) eyes and said he wouldn't let him down," said Hill.
With Dyer in the backfield mix with Bridgewater, Louisville now has a power-back widely considered the best downhill runner in college football two years ago at Auburn. Bridgewater, of course, is one of the leading Heisman Trophy contenders after throwing for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns as a sophomore while leading the Cardinals to a Sugar Bowl victory over the Florida Gators.
"I am ready to start a new chapter in my life," Dyer said in a released statement Friday. "I've learned from my past and feel that Louisville is the best place to play the second half of my collegiate career. I thank God for Coach [Charlie] Strong's belief in me. I am not going to let him down."
Dyer's on-field exploits in two seasons with the Tigers are well-documented. Dyer rushed for 2,335 yards and 15 touchdowns during his brief career at AU. He broke Bo Jackson's Auburn freshman rushing record. And the 5'9, 209 pound Dyer was also named Offensive MVP of the 2011 BCS title game, rushing for 143 yards in Auburn's win over Oregon.
Dyer's off-field troubles are also well-known. After serving a suspension for Auburn's 2012 Cick-Fil-A Bowl, Dyer transferred to Arkansas State to join former Tigers coordinator Gus Malzahn. But Dyer never played at Arkansas State, leaving school after a police officer confiscated his legally registered handgun during a traffic violation for speeding.
"I was looking for something other than a great football program," Dyer said. "I wanted a support system that would continue help me develop socially, emotionally and spiritually. Most people know that I can play football and I know that I am very capable academically. But this decision is about more than just football. It is about me as a person."
Dyer's strong running should create openings in the secondary for Bridgewater's precision passing attack
Dyer spent last season at Arkansas Baptist College but didn't play football. Instead, Dyer used the year to get back on track academically in hopes of earning one more chance at a big-time Division 1 program. Dyer, according to USA Today, completed 46 hours during the fall, spring and summer sessions to earn his associate's degree. He compiled better than a 3.3 GPA each semester.
"Based on what he has done at Arkansas Baptist College, I don't have one negative," Hill told the newspaper. "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."
Charlie Strong apparently is willing to give Dyer's once-burgeoning football career new life. Rated the No. 1 RB nationally coming out of high school by 247Sports, Dyer will be immediately eligible to play for the Cardinals, who finished 11-2 last season and enter the 2013 regarded as a dark-horse BCS title contender.
"A lot of times you'd say you're giving a second chance," Strong said. "As a coach the only thing you want to do is make sure you have an impact on a young person's life.
"Whether a person is a really good player or not you want to make sure if you bring anyone into your program that he's going to become part of your program and you're not going to become him. That's what I've always said.
"Any time we're looking to bring anyone into this program it's all about you want to change that young man's future and give him a future where he has a chance to be a productive citizen."
Dyer visited Louisville before joining Strong's program and apparently won over his new teammates. Bridgewater, Louisville's undisputed team leader, told ESPN's Joe Schad that his teammates would, "take (Dyer) in and welcome him."
With Dyer pounding defenses between the tackles, Bridgewater's job should be a little easier this season.
"He's an outstanding player and the only thing he wants to do is get better and better," Strong said of Bridgewater. "He has to be surrounded by good players and that's the way it is right now for Teddy. He's surrounded by some outstanding players. That's only going to make him better."
If he stays on the right path at Louisville, Dyer might be the best player surrounding Bridgewater in 2013.
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