Michael Dyer: Troubled Running Back Proves Talent Isn't Everything

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Michael Dyer: Troubled Running Back Proves Talent Isn't Everything
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The second team dismissal in seven months for Michael Dyer should serve as a cautionary tale for young athletes who think they can they can get by on talent alone. 

Dyer, of course, was one of the most talented young football players on the planet two years ago. Now, he's at risk of seeing his career come to a screeching halt. 

Flash back to the summer of 2010. Auburn fans were excited to see Dyer, a true freshman and the top running back recruit in the country, take over the reins as the go-to ball carrier.

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Blessed with a body that would make David jealous, the 5'9", 200-pound Dyer was an absolute wrecking ball. He didn't have breakaway speed, but his power, quick burst and ability to cut on a dime were second to none.

He was the definition of special.

Dyer, physically superior to everyone around him, was the future of the Auburn backfield, and he showcased that from day one. 

In his first game as a collegiate athlete, the true freshman rattled off several long runs, racking up 95 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. 

The legend had begun. 

Dyer went on the break Bo Jackson's freshman yards record. He went on to lead the Tigers to a national championship win over the Oregon Ducks, taking home Offensive Player of the Game in the process, and capping off a magical freshman season.

Even someone with this talent isn't immune to character concerns

He went on to record 1,242 more yards and 10 more touchdowns. 

He went on to establish himself as a potential top running back for the 2013 draft, drawing comparisons to Maurice Jones-Drew. 

But that's where the magical story ends. Dyer was suspended before Auburn's bowl game, and then eventually kicked off the team for good.

He transferred to Arkansas State, the team he dominated in his first ever collegiate game, but he was kicked off that team on Sunday before ever taking a hand off, . 

Norm Hall/Getty Images

If talent was everything, Michael Dyer would be preparing a run at the Heisman trophy as a part of Auburn University this year. Vontaze Burfict would have been drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. Maurice Clarett would probably still be relevant. Countless gaudy specimens wouldn't have flamed out before they were supposed to.

But, talent isn't everything.

Football is a grind, and if players aren't willing to put in the extra work necessary, they will eventually be bested by those willing to out-work them.

It might not happen until high school. It might not happen until college. It might not even happen until the pros, but if young athletes expect to get by on talent alone, there's a very good possibility that sooner or later they will be disappointed. 

It's more than just talent and hard work, too. Having a good head on your shoulders is also necessary. Breaking simple team rules is unacceptable. 

Dyer's show-stopping talent will likely earn him a few more chances at National Football League glory, the benefit of being born with rare talent, but if he never gets his head straight he'll have to find a different day job.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Let Dyer's mishaps be a lesson. If someone with his ridiculous skill-set can't get by on talent alone then there is very little hope for anyone else to do the same. 

 

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