Almost one year to the day after he delivered one of the biggest plays in school history, the ongoing dance between Auburn and running back Michael Dyer is officially off: Dyer, a sophomore, has received a conditional release that will allow him to transfer to a limited group of schools, according to al.com, a list that includes Arkansas State, the destination at the center of persistent transfer rumors over the past week.
On Dec. 29, several Arkansas State players posted on their Facebook and Twitter pages that Dyer — a former five-star recruit out of Little Rock — was on the verge of joining ASU to reconnect with his old offensive coordinator at Auburn, new Arkansas State head coach Gus Malzahn. Those same players backtracked, however, following various reports that Dyer had not yet made a decision and was still waiting to meet with Auburn coach Gene Chizik.
The rumor mill flared again Wednesday with a new report from National Football Authority, which claimed sources had spotted Dyer filing paperwork at ASU. Sources from both schools initially denied that report, as well.
Now, it looks like Dyer has a resolution and will continue his career elsewhere, which is just as well, considering he hadn't been on the best terms with his head coach since Chizik suspended Dyer for the Tigers' trip to the Chick-fil-A Bowl for the ever-popular violation of team rules.
While Dyer might be something of a problem child -- Chizik said in December he would have to meet certain criteria before being allowed back with the team -- he's also a heck of a football player. In 2010, he broke Bo Jackson's freshman rushing record at Auburn and was named the offensive MVP of the Tigers' BCS Championship win over Oregon, thanks largely to an improbable 37-yard run in the fourth quarter that set up the game-winning field goal on the final snap. In 2011, Dyer rushed for 1,242 yards — his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season — and 10 touchdowns and was the only Tiger voted first-team All-SEC. In just two seasons, his 2,335 yards on the ground ranks 10th on Auburn's all-time rushing list.
Whoever earns the right to Dyer's services (see: Arkansas State) will probably have to wait a year until he's back on the field: Unless there are mitigating circumstances that have yet to emerge, Dyer will probably have to sit out a year if he transfers to another FBS school. However, since he hasn't used a redshirt year, Dyer will still have two years of eligibility - if he doesn't jump to the NFL after his junior season.
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