Could Michael Dyer play at Arkansas? The former Auburn Tigers standout wants to return to the SEC, specifically as a member of the Arkansas Razorbacks, he told KTHV in Little Rock.
Dyer was the hero of Auburn’s BCS championship, breaking off a long run that put the Tigers in field goal range in the title game’s waning moments. He was the offensive focal point of the 2011 Auburn offense, carrying for 1242 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Off-the-field issues kept Dyer sidelined throughout 2012. He briefly joined his former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State, but a traffic stop ended his RedWolves career before it began.
Flirtations with FCS Prairie View A&M just before the season never panned out, thus Dyer used the past season to keep his game sharp with an eye on the NFL draft.
Auburn teammate Onterio McCalebb is a fast-riser on many a NFL draft board; Dyer’s name is nowhere to be found. A return to the college game could do wonders for Dyer, but he must avoid the pitfalls that shortened his promising Auburn career.
Would Arkansas coach Bret Bielema be interested in Dyer? Certainly the back is a proven commodity against SEC defenses, and Bielema’s Wisconsin Badgers teams were built from a foundation of a powerful, multifaceted running game.
A year away from competition can negatively impact a player’s performance, but it’s evident from the video that Dyer remained in peak shape. With nothing but time to work on his game, it’s reasonable to think he could return to the SEC without missing beat.
The Razorback backfield returns Jonathan Williams, who saw action in 11 games last season, and added highly touted 2013 prospect Alex Collins. But the question is less if Little Rock native Dyer would fit at Arkansas, than it is if it could happen.
Dyer’s many troubles present obvious road blocks. He must also academically qualify. In the interview, he discusses taking courses at Arkansas Baptist College to remain eligible. Assuming the year off staying in football shape also allowed Dyer the opportunity to mature — and he certainly conveys the right attitude — his could be a real story of redemption.