After a couple of weeks of heavy speculation, it appears D-Day (or night) has finally arrived for Louisville football fans.
Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer will has accepted a scholarship offer from U of L and will enroll at the university and report to school next week, this according to a report from George Schroeder of USA Today.
Though Dyer couldn't be reached for comment, Arkansas Baptist president Fitz Hill, who served as Dyer's mentor during his time at the college, said Dyer is thrilled to be a Cardinal.
"He's excited to have an opportunity to resume his career," Hill told USA TODAY. "Many people doubted that Michael would ever make this comeback, and it's here."
Dyer burst onto the national scene back in 2010 when he rushed for 1,093 yards on 182 carries and five touchdowns, breaking Bo Jackson's freshman rushing record at Auburn. He reached his pinnacle as a national name during the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, in which he rushed 22 times for 143 yards and was named the game's Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
There was no sophomore slump for Dyer, who was named first team All-SEC in 2011 when he rushed for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 103.5 yards per game. After just two seasons, Dyer found himself at No. 10 on Auburn's all-time rushing list.
Prior to Auburn's appearance in the 2011 Cick-fil-A Bowl, however, Dyer was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. He was then released from his scholarship on Jan. 6, 2012.
Dyer next chose to follow his former offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, to Arkansas State, where he would be forced to sit out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules before beginning play with the Red Wolves. That plan also hit a curve when he was pulled over for speeding on March 10, 2012. A police officer discovered a gun in Dyer's car and confiscated it, but only charged him with speeding. A recording of the traffic stop was released to the media in July, and Dyer was dismissed from the team a day later.
Arkansas Baptist was Dyer's next stop, where he chose to put football on the back burner in order to focus on himself and his academics. It would seem to be a move that has paid off, as he's since earned his associate's degree and compiled a 3.6 grade-point average in the fall, a 3.337 GPA in the spring and 4.00 GPA in the summer session in June.
Hill says heading to a place where he will be cared for as a person, and not just a football player, played a large part in his decision. He said during a visit to Louisville last month, Dyer assured Cardinals coach Charlie Strong he wouldn't waste this opportunity.
"He looked in (Strong's) eyes and said he wouldn't let him down," said Hill, who said he believed Louisville would provide a support system for Dyer.
"To me, it's just like a handoff. Everyone knows he plays football, but this was a decision for the support system. I think the environment will be productive for him. He told me, 'I just want to find a place that's going to be positive for me to finish the next two years of college football and to get a degree.' "
Sounds good to me. Welcome to Louisville, Michael Dyer.