Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer says he has given up synthetic marijuana and his registered weapon, has earned a two-year degree and hopes one more university gives him a chance to play this season, which he wants to do as opposed to entering the upcoming NFL supplemental draft.
"I want a chance to show people my character is better than it was in the past," Dyer said from his home in Little Rock, Ark., on Monday. "I want to clear my name. I understand the reasons I am in this situation. I placed myself here. I take responsibility."
Dyer helped Auburn to a national championship as a true freshman, sealing the defeat of Oregon with a memorable run. But incidents involving drugs and weapons at Auburn and Arkansas State have left him without a place to play this season.
At certain points over the past few months, Dyer thought he would be enrolling at TCU or Louisville this season, but he says those options fell away. No other BCS automatic-qualifying conference programs have reached out.
"I understand their reasoning of not taking me," Dyer said. "It's been very, very hard. But I'm not the same person I was. I've changed. I've grown up."
Dyer, 22, sat out of football last season, focusing instead on his classes at Arkansas Baptist. He has two years of football eligibility after not having played at Arkansas State when it was revealed he had been stopped for speeding and found to be carrying a weapon.
Dyer also testified last year that his weapon was used by former Auburn teammates in a robbery in 2011. Dyer said he left Auburn after being suspended for a bowl game for failed marijuana tests.
"It gave me one of those highs where it blocked the world out for a little bit," Dyer said. "It kept my mind off things. But I've gone six months without it. I have let go of the urges. I have done it with the help of my family."
As for the weapon, Dyer said: "I felt I needed it for protection. My friends had died at a party, and I was far from home. You never know what type of people you'll run into."
Dyer would like to be enrolled at his new school in the next 10 days. His uncle, Andre, says Western Kentucky, Troy and Illinois State have had some contact. Western Kentucky, of course, is coached by former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino.
"I think God is going to allow me to get my life back to where it's supposed to be," Dyer said. "I think I'm going to play ball again. I think I'm going to be everything I was supposed to be. I don't want to be a person who ends up as a nothing. My heart and my dreams are still alive. They're still there."