Where Are They Now? 2012’s Booted CFB Stars
CB Greg Reid (Florida State to Valdosta State)
Perhaps more than any year in recent memory, this past offseason was filled with stories of high-profile FBS players being dismissed from their teams. We update the current whereabouts of six of the biggest names in that category.
Reid, who was dismissed from the Seminoles on August 1 after a July 10 arrest (his second within the past year), was probably jumping at the opportunity to play immediately for his hometown Valdosta (GA) State Blazers, who compete on the Division II level.
But it wasn’t to be. Reid tore his ACL while returning a punt during VSU’s final preseason scrimmage, ending his 2012 season before it even began. He was on the sideline in a VSU uniform for the Blazers’ Sept. 23 loss to West Alabama.
Valdosta State SID Shawn Reed said during a phone interview that Reid is keeping all his options open and will see how his rehab is going in February and March. It’s at that point, Reed believes, that Reid will make a decision whether he’ll return to the Blazers for a redshirt senior season or enter the NFL draft.
RB Isaiah Crowell (Georgia to Alabama State)
Crowell lost his chance to lead Georgia to the top of the SEC East when he was dismissed in June following an arrest on three weapons charges. Now he’s trying to do the same for FCS Alabama State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), where its 4–3 record (4–2 in-conference) puts them second in the East Division.
The former Bulldog has found the end zone in each of his first seven games with the Hornets. It’s been in his past three games games, where he’s rushed for 330 yards and five scores, that Crowell has really found his groove again.
“It’s taken some time because Isaiah wasn’t in the best shape when he got here,” explained Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow on Wednesday. “Now, he’s in shape where he can stay in the game six plays in a row and he can run it four or five of those plays. Then the threat is he can run it three in a row and then the fourth one he can go long. That’s a treat itself to have that.”
CB Tyrann Mathieu (LSU CB to full-time student)
When Tigers coach Les Miles left the door open for Mathieu to return to the LSU program in 2012, the Honey Badger showed that he does care.
One week after being dismissed from the team in August, Mathieu enrolled in Houston’s Right Step recovery center while simultaneously receiving counseling from former NBA player John Lucas, who had his own substance abuse issues during his pro career. In early September, Mathieu both re-enrolled at LSU for fall semester classes and was in the stands for the Tigers’ 41–3 home win over Washington.
And during an October 2 ESPN Radio interview with Scott Van Pelt and Ryan Russillo, Miles answered in the affirmative when asked if Mathieu could have a “happy ending with the LSU football family.” All signs point to the Honey Badger returning to its natural habitat of Tiger Stadium in 2013.
WR Da’Rick Rogers (Tennessee to Tennessee Tech)
In transferring to FCS Tennessee Tech, Rogers may be 105 miles west and one football division below where he was with the Vols. Yet on Sept. 22, Rogers made a bigger splash than Tennessee has all year.
Against Southeast Missouri State, Rogers had 12 catches for 258 yards and two touchdowns. At halftime. Southeast Missouri State put the clamps on Rogers in the second half and he finished with 18 receptions, 303 yards and two scores. Still, those numbers are huge even in NCAA ‘13.
Future opponents sat up and took notice after Rogers’ explosion. Murray State and Jacksonville State combined to hold him to 10 catches, 136 yards and zero touchdowns in Rogers’ next two games. Still, Rogers has 39 catches for 640 yards and 5 TDs, which - combined with his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame - certainly has him on the radar of NFL scouts.
Ray-Ray Armstrong (Miami to Faulkner University)
Armstrong, considered one of the best safeties in college football at Miami (FL) and a strong 2013 draft prospect, transferred to NAIA Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL, with hopes of suiting up for the Eagles in 2012 after getting the boot from the ‘Canes in July. Alas, in September the NAIA ruled him ineligible to play.
Needless to say it is a nice surprise to hear that Armstrong has remained at Faulkner nonetheless. Doug Amos, the Eagles’ assistant AD for media relations, said in an e-mail that Armstrong is serving as a student assistant coach and that “he is highly thought of by both our faculty and student body.”
Amos also mentioned that the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Armstrong is working out for scouts who have come to Montgomery to see him. It sounds like Armstrong’s putting himself in good shape, literally and figuratively, for next April’s draft.
RB Michael Dyer (Arkansas State to Arkansas Baptist)
Among all the former FBS stars booted this past offseason, no one can claim the roller coaster ride of Michael Dyer.
As an Auburn freshman, his “not down” run against Oregon helped deliver the Tigers the 2010 BCS national title. But the wheels fell off when he was released from his scholarship following a sophomore season when he was a consensus first team All-SEC performer.
Dyer’s subsequent transfer to Arkansas State, where former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had become the head coach, was supposed to get him back on track. But in March Dyer was pulled over for speeding by Arkansas police, who discovered a gun and evidence of marijuana in the car. Malzahn dismissed Dyer from the team in July.
Now Dyer is enrolled at Arkansas Baptist College but not playing football. He hopes to obtain an associate’s degree and return to major college football next fall - not to mention put an end to his unwanted roller coaster ride.