After Dyer was suspended from the Auburn team in December, former Auburn assistant coach Gus Malzahn offered Dyer a fresh start at Arkansas State. However, that didn't last long as Coach Malzahn had to pull his scholarship and send Dyer on his way. He wasn't the first college head coach to think he could help a player change his ways and fail, and he won't be the last.
If Dyer and the Honey Badger don't get their acts together, they could be throwing away millions of dollars of potential earnings as professional athletes. When you go the next level pro teams not only want great players, many are wary of drafting players with a troubled past. Before they invest big bucks they are going to think twice about taking a risk on a player who has had major problems at the college level.
As a former college coach it is a sad thing to see players with major talent fail because of off the field issues. They certainly aren't the first ones to take the wrong road and squander talent, and they certainly won't be the last. Those are the two who stand out because they have been in the news recently and because of how much ability they have.
Hopefully, some good will come out of those bad situations if players in programs around the country are reminded that there are serious consequences for not following the rules, even if you are a great player like Dyer and Mathieu. When they see stars wasting their talent, maybe other players will make better decisions regarding their own lives.
Letters to Coach Dye:
Dear Coach Dye:
Bobby, I think this Auburn team has good running backs and I like them. From what I have seen if there is any surprise it is Onterio McCalebb. To me he looks a lot better than he has looked in his first three seasons. Maybe it has something to do with what Auburn is doing with the running game. He is making a lot of plays running the football. He has always had speed and could out-run folks.
"I like the other backs, too, although I haven't seen enough of Jovon Robinson to know how much potential he has and I am not sure what his status is for playing this year. I have seen Tre Mason and I know what he can do and I think he will be a major contributor. I?have seen enough of Corey Grant to know he has talent and ability. I have also seen enough of Mike Blakely to know he has a different running style than the others. Hopefully, he will grow and mature into a dependable, consistent player who doesn't make mistakes, picks up blitzes and does all the little things that help a team win games.
Blakely has a knack for running the football. His style reminds me a little bit of Emmitt Smith. He may not be as big as Emmitt, but one thing they have in common is the ability to slip tackles and find soft spots in the defense. He has got a chance to really help this team.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com. Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.