Michael Dyer to Arkansas State: Auburn Running Back's Transfer Unfortunate
According to sources, Michael Dyer will transfer to Arkansas State and follow offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Auburn has not disclosed the details behind Dyer's suspension, so one can only wonder about the circumstances surrounding the situation.
Did Dyer violate a major team rule? Did Dyer break the law? Is Dyer attached to Malzahn so much that he would transfer to a lesser school?
I would guess that a serious team rule was broken. If Dyer were merely upset about Malzahn taking the Arkansas State job, he would have still made himself available for the bowl game and then considered transferring. Most college players don't consider jumping ship to an inferior program merely to follow a coordinator—especially after two years of successful performances.
What does this mean for Dyer?
Well, before transferring, Dyer was likely to be a Heisman favorite going into his junior season. Now, it is very unlikely he will be a candidate. Playing at Arkansas State will not likely garner enough clout to win the award. This is unfortunate, as Dyer had a substantial chance to win this award.
Will Dyer follow the likes of former Auburn running back Brandon Jacobs? Jacobs transferred to Northern Illinois for his senior season, was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals and was a successful NFL running back. Jacobs was a long shot, picked in the 4th round, and struggled to make a roster. Once he did, he made the most of it.
As a result of his two years of success at Auburn, Dyer will likely have the credentials required to be drafted into the NFL. This current route is not ideal for him, as it will be a much tougher road. I suspect that if Dyer has a successful senior year at Arkansas State he will be drafter, possibly first round, but may slip to the second. Lack of competition and evidence of problems in the past will hurt his draft status. Had he stayed at Auburn he would have been one of the first players off the board. Dyer will have to sit out a year before being allowed to play for another Bowl Subdivision team. Now he will not have the option to "chose" to enter the draft after his junior year and will have to wait an additional year to enter after his senior season. Once again, this will hurt his draft status and marketability.
Will Dyer follow the path of former teammate Cam Newton? Newton benefited from a change of scenery. The change gave Newton a chance to clear his head and realign his priorities. Will Dyer benefit in the same manner from a similar change?
All of these questions will be answered with time.
One thing is certain: The path Dyer is on is not the most ideal outcome for him or his former Auburn team. One can hope that Dyer will redirect his focus and continue to improve on and off the field and achieve his goals down the road as a great running back.
I hope he does, and I wish him the best. He was a great Auburn running back, and I look forward to seeing him in the NFL in the near future.
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