With the addition of running back Michael Dyer there is no doubt that Louisville is adding an immensely talented running back with a track record of getting it done on the field. He was also able to do so against a high level of competition while playing for Auburn against other S.E.C. schools week in and week out. No one has ever questioned his talent or pro potential, but let’s take a look at the impact & options that Dyer’s transfer to Louisville brings.
The worry that is in the mind of some fans lies in the fact that he could potentially disrupt the chemistry and family feel that exists within the program. Some players have already expressed that they are happy and confident with the way the team is structured now without the addition of another running back. Then there is the issue of whether he will be able to keep his nose clean from any sort of trouble, or have a negative influence in the locker room and off the field. While these are all valid concerns I do not think that Charlie would have taken a chance to help turn this kid’s life around and help the team possibly reach a national championship game if he did not feel that the foundation was in place to do so. Therefore, I will focus on what he can do for the team and how he helps, rather than concentrate on the negative.
In terms of depth, this move strengthens an already deep position for the Cardinals who have four highly capable backs who all could be the feature back. Senorise Perry was the feature back for most of last season before a late season injury. Dominique Brown has shown flashes of lead back skills and finally seemed to be putting it all together before missing all of last season due to injury. This spring he has looked like an absolute beast and is definitely Louisville’s #1 back heading into the fall. Corvin Lamb has always been a wild card, he has all the talent in the world and has even shown flashes of his speed and strength in games, but the sample size has always been so small because he can never seem to stay healthy for a full season. Last, but not least of Louisville’s returning quartet of running backs is Brandon Radcliff, who red-shirted last season. The fans and the staff are excited about the potential that he has, and has shown this spring when he was 2nd string RB in the spring game.
The fact that Louisville has these four talented Running Backs would lead a lot of people scratching their head, why they would mess with that or add another player to an already loaded group? It just seems like someone will get left out with just one football. However, I think this was the best situation for both parties. Strong is the kind of coach who has given second chances to players before, such as Adrian Bushell, and they have thrived and matured. It is ultimately up to the player and the work that they are willing to put in, but Strong has instilled such a strong support system that it is hard to fail if a player buys in. By Dyer choosing Louisville it also give them insurance in case something goes wrong that they could just turn to the next best player and at the same time still not have to worry about depth.
It might be a little premature to play the “what if” game, but what if Dominique Brown re-injures his leg? What if Senorise Perry has a set back and needs the whole season to redshirt? What if Corvin Lamb gets injured and misses most of the season? Then the only scholarship RB left is a red-shirt freshman who has yet to take a meaningful snap in college. Obviously the odds of all of these things happening this season are absurdly low, but if any combination of the scenarios occur, it’s nice to know Louisville now has a 5th option at running back and one that brings with him a talent unrivaled by most running backs in the country. This is also something that Charlie Strong will not hand Dyer. Dyer must stay out of trouble, do well in school, and follow team rules just as everyone else does. If he does this and hits the ground running at Louisville he could potentially put the Cards over the top for a spot in the national championship (assuming they run the table and the stars align). I know one thing though, going into fall camp things just got a lot more interesting, and the best back/backs will separate themselves from the pack during camp.
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