College Football: Why Michael Dyer Helps Arkansas State Even If He Never Plays
We kicked off the morning with Michael Dyer, as we talked about why the junior should stay at Arkansas State, sit out the 2012 season, and then, head for the draft.
In today's presser, Gus Malzahn was singing a different tune, as Chris Bahn from Arkansas Sports 360 reports. Not only is Malzahn excited that Dyer is not transferring, but he's pumped to have the running back in the fold—for the 2013 season!
Malzahn: "I’m tickled to death. Our team is tickled to death. We’ll have one of the top RBs in entire country … eligible to play next year."
— Chris Bahn (@cbahn) July 20, 2012
That's mighty enthusiastic talk from the head coach, as most of the pundits, myself included, expected Dyer, a running back, to make the jump to the NFL after the 2012 season. As it stands right now, Michael Dyer is apparently coming back for the 2013 season.
We can hem and haw over that later; right now is a time to celebrate. Dyer will be in Jonesboro for the 2012 season. If you're a Red Wolves fan, or just a fan of the way the college-football-propaganda game is played, this is a great sign, as Chris Bahn mentioned earlier today.
Take the will-he/won't-he of the 2013 NFL draft off the table and what Gus Malzahn, the Arkansas State athletic department and Red Wolves football team has is one of the most valuable assets in college football. They have a player that is capable of helping push their program in just about every facet of the game, except in the actual games.
At the base level, the Red Wolves have—almost beyond a shadow of a doubt—the best scout team for running backs in college football. Dyer is not some stud freshman who's going to redshirt because of depth.
He's a guy who has already made his bones, who has an elite size-strength combination and was a man amongst boys from the moment he stepped into the spotlight. He's going to get the Arkansas State defense ready to play elite running backs. When you practice against one of the best, you're bound to get better.
In addition to that immediate result, the Arkansas State running backs are getting a veteran of the offense. Malzahn and Dyer worked hand in hand within the system. When a player who understands the ins and outs of the scheme comes along with the coach, he's a valuable teaching tool for players new to the system.
Speaking of new, enter David Oku. Don't know what he has to do with this? Malzahn picked up the former Tennessee Volunteer and 4-star running back after he sat out the 2011 season, figuring out where he wanted to transfer.
Oku's been a bit lost in the shuffle, and now with Dyer in the spotlight regarding the possible transfer, the running back has a shot to fly into camp, under the radar, for the Red Wolves.
Off the field, as Bahn mentioned, is where Dyer has a chance to make an even more substantial impact.
— Chris Bahn (@cbahn) July 20, 2012
That presser, with Dyer in an Arkansas State shirt simply to announce that he is not going anywhere, was a ploy built after SEC Media Days and before the other conferences go center stage. It was carefully planned after the less-than-headline-drawing Sun Belt "virtual" media days. For one Friday in the summer, the Red Wolves got to be the big story of sorts in the college-football world.
While Dyer is not going to be performing on the field, the running back will still be a big recruiting tool for the Red Wolves. He's a kid who has a BCS-national-championship ring and a BCS National Championship Game MVP trophy to his credit.
He's not some dusty, crusty, old player from yesteryear celebrating glory days, trying to sway young ball players to go to Arkansas State. Rather, he's a guy whom they all saw ball hard, with Cam Newton, en route to hoisting a crystal ball.
And that kid decided to head to Arkansas State, so why shouldn't they?
Dyer should be expected to be seen at scholarship dinners glad-handing boosters, making any public appearance the team can shoehorn him into with an Arkansas State shirt and serving as a reminder that they have a great player. He's just not playing right now.
Watch for Dyer to host recruits and extol the benefits of playing in Gus Malzahn's system. Look for the running back to be leading facility tours and greeting recruits on game-day Saturdays in Jonesboro, as the recruits come in for unofficial visits.
Dyer's a big asset. Whether his whirlwind tour lasts for one year or two remains to be seen. However, as long as the Red Wolves have him, they're going to use him. Michael Dyer is likely the greatest recruiting asset that Arkansas State has ever known.
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