JONESBORO, Ark. -- Michael Dyer is home and has no intention of leaving.
The former Auburn running back said Friday that he is happy at Arkansas State. He said he is looking forward to serving as a mentor for his teammates while sitting out this season after his transfer from the Tigers.
The NCAA denied Dyer's request to play immediately for the Red Wolves two weeks ago. Since then, reports surfaced that the Arkansas native and former Little Rock Christian standout was considering transferring to a lower-level school with hopes of playing immediately.
"I don't really know how that got started out there," Dyer said. "I'm just going to sit out this year and do what I can with my running backs and my players and teammates that I've grown to love since I've been here."
Dyer transferred to Arkansas State in January after he was suspended indefinitely by Auburn coach Gene Chizik for violating unspecified team rules before the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He went through spring practice with the Red Wolves but hadn't talked publicly since his transfer before Friday.
Dyer was the offensive MVP of the 2011 national championship game as a freshman. He was the first Tigers tailback to rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, including a 1,093-yard performance as a freshman that broke Bo Jackson's school record of 892 yards set in 1982. Dyer rushed for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
"There's not going to be a better scout team running back in the country," Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn said. "I know he'll be very hungry when this season's over."
Malzahn, who was Dyer's offensive coordinator at Auburn, helped recruit Dyer to the Tigers before being hired by the Red Wolves after last season. Malzahn was very familiar with Dyer's career thanks to a 14-season high school coaching career in Arkansas, and was eager to bring Dyer with him to Arkansas State.
The Red Wolves won the Sun Belt Conference championship last season, earning the school's first 10-win season since 1986, when it was a member of the I-AA Southland Conference. Arkansas State lost coach Hugh Freeze to Ole Miss, but hoped to continue the success by hiring Malzahn, who said declaring for the NFL draft after this season was the only other option Dyer considering after the NCAA's ruling.
In the end, Malzahn said Dyer felt like he had more to prove.
"He thinks that this is going to be great for him in the long run," Malzahn said. "He wasn't ready for that next level. He's got some growing up to do. I know he's ready and he's really going to be an asset to our team."