Published March 18, 2011 - 5:24am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
Saturday Down South is continually counting down the top 20 players in the SEC for 2011 – pre-season style!
Michael Dyer – No. 9
Michael Dyer will forever be remembered for his 37-yard run against Oregon in the National Championship game this past January in Glendale – a play in which he theoretically was tackled but his knee or elbow never touched the playing surface. Everyone thought he was down, but after direction from his sideline, Dyer regained top speed in about two steps. It was reviewed and was not ruled down, and his 37-yard run pretty much catapulted Auburn to victory in the closing minutes.
Although Dyer is known around the country for possibly one play, he actually did it all season as a true freshman in the toughest league in the country. At 5-9, 215lbs, Dyer has perfect size, vision and speed in a bowling ball-like running style coming right at you to hit you in the mouth. With that rare combination, Dyer has low ground control and is a really tough ball carrier to bring down on first contact.
In 2010, the true freshman was second on his team in rushing, behind only Cam Newton. Dyer carried the football 182 times for 1,093 yards and five touchdowns. His 6.0-yard per carry was very pivotal all season for the Tigers.
He can run inside, or he can bust it to the outside and take it to the house. He is a total package at running back who has more upside than tons of other prospects not only in the SEC, but around the rest of the country as well.
For 2011, Auburn has several question marks regarding key offensive positions such as quarterback, offensive line, etc, that could hinder Dyer from having a huge season. Teams will key in on Dyer, so the Tigers have to find a way to get other playmakers to help take the load off him. However, I look for Dyer to be one of the best playmakers in 2011, and I believe he is ready to lead the Auburn Tigers.