As some of you may know, I lived in Auburn, Alabama from August 2008-April 2012. So I was down there for the 2010 National Championship and got to see Michael Dyer live and in person. So I have been very excited about the possibility of Dyer joining the Cards. Others may have just seen his numbers and knew he was a good player, but being somewhere where football talk happens 24/7, 365 days a year, you get to know a lot about the players.
Dyer rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first 2 seasons. That is big for anyone, but he did it in the SEC! Let alone, the SEC West where you face LSU and Alabama each season. Of course the focus of the 2010 Championship team was Cam Newton, but Michael Dyer was a huge reason for their success. And just as a side note: Auburn actually almost got Marcus Lattimore to commit as well, but when Dyer chose Auburn, Lattimore went to South Carolina.
I still have a lot of good friends down in Auburn, so naturally I reached out to them to comment on what they thought of Michael Dyer. Like I said, football is 24/7/365 down there, so even though he only played 2 years, these people know what they are talking about. Here is what some of them had to say.
Scott Bagwell: Great patience and vision. We ran the buck sweep a lot in 2011 getting 2 guards in front of him on a sweep. He was great about letting the guards get in front of him and make their blocks. He runs low to the ground and doesn’t give the defense a target to hit. He can run into a pile at the line of scrimmage and get 5 yards. He had over 1,200 yards in 2011 behind a terrible offensive line. He was first team All SEC that year. Only question for him is pass protection and catching the ball out of the back field. Everything I heard is that he has great hands. He is a top 5 back in the country.
Kyle Wortendyke: One of my favorite backs in all of football, regardless of school. Reminded me of watching Maurice Clarett at Ohio State and Adrian Peterson at Oklahoma. A real rare mix of a tough downhill runner and a guy who can just break away and go. He’s a guy who makes the passing game better because you have to put extra bodies in the box to keep him from getting 4 yards every carry. A real asset on the field. If he was at Auburn last year, we make a bowl game. Pressure drops off the QB and 3rd and 3 seems a heck of a lot shorter. He and Bridgewater will be nasty together. Get a little zone read action, should be exciting.
Ryan Molt: Dyer was a great running back for us. He’s built very compact, in that Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice form. Definitely an every down back that can pound it between the tackles. He’s also good for a 50 yarder every game. I hate that we couldn’t make it work for him at Auburn because he is definitely an extraordinary talent. It really seems like he’s turned his life around and gotten his priorities straight, so I’ll be cheering for him at Louisville.
I also got reaction from some well respected Louisville bloggers, Mike Lindsay and Mark Blankenbaker. You probably know them better as @CrumsRevenge and @UofLSheriff50.
Mike (Crums): Dyer will help give lot of defensive coordinators their worst game of the year. They were already panicking about Teddy and the AFROS, and now our solid backfield has added a national champion back. Adrian Bushell was first player to win 2 sugar bowls with different teams – not sure if that’s happened for someone with national championships, but adding Dyer to the team has to give him a real shot to achieving that.
Mark (Sheriff): I’d be excited about his ability, and I know if Dyer can make the most of another chance, Louisville (under the guidance of Charlie Strong) is the best place for him. He broke Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record at Auburn and was the BCS National Champion MVP. With Dyer enrolled, Louisville will have an NCAA Champion MOP in Luke Hancock & and BCS National Champion MVP on campus at same time.