With rookie minicamps completed, the Raiders must now decide between them which they want to keep. Among those are tryout players, of whom the team does not release the names. It seems one of those tryout players was former Auburn National Championship MVP, Michael Dyer, who has now reportedly been signed by the Raiders according to Richard Davenport of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Dyer was a player I had listed among those players on the Raiders Draft Radar as a potential late round selection. But how does a player who was once at the top of the college football world end up not only going undrafted but having to try out for NFL teams? Well, that's a long story.
The former 5-star high school recruit spent the first two years of his college career as the star tailback for the Auburn Tigers. His freshman year was one for the ages. He set a freshman school record for rushing yards (1093); a record previously held by none other than Raiders legend, Bo Jackson.
That freshman season ended with a BCS National Championship win over Oregon in which Dyer was named Offensive Player of the Game, running for 143 yards.
He followed up that stellar 2010 campaign with a statistically better 2011 sophomore season rushing for 1242 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning All SEC first team honors. But before Auburn was to play in that season's Chick-Fil-A Bowl, he was suspended for a violation of team rules. Shortly after that, he requested a transfer from the school and was granted a release.
He has enrolled at three different colleges since then. First the Little Rock native enrolled at Arkansas State. Shortly afterward, he and a teammate were both pulled over for speeding down a local highway. He was found with a firearm and marijuana, which were confiscated by the officer who would ultimately only cite Dyer for going 96 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone.
Once word and video of the stop were made available to head coach Gus Malzahn, Dyer was released from the team before ever playing down.
From there Dyer enrolled at Arkansas Baptist College to earn his associates degree and eventually ended up at Louisville where he played his junior and senior season.
Things went smoothly for Dyer for those two seasons, though he wasn't the workhorse back he was early in his college career. After rushing for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns on 44 carries in 2013, he upped that to 481 yards and 5 TD's as a senior.
But just when you thought he had repaired his image, his college career would end with him ruled academically ineligible to participate in the team's Bowl game to end the season. Sending him off on a bad note after an already tumultuous college career.
As short a shelf life as NFL running backs have, the fact that Dyer will be 25 in October does not help his stock either.
Even with all that considered, he seemed like just the type of player the Raiders have taken to giving a look late in the draft and in free agency, on the hopes that they can pull turn things around and find the talent they once displayed.
The 5-9, 215 pound back clearly showed the Raiders enough for them to give him a shot to prove he belongs.
In a corresponding move at running back, the Raiders have released RB Terrance Cobb who was signed this offseason to a reserve future contract.