We have under a month until kickoff...29 days to be exact, so today we'll look at the bearer of the #29 jersey on the Bronco roster—Dylan Sumner-Gardner
#29, Dylan Sumner-Gardner, Sophomore, Safety
Weight: 193 lbs.
High School: West Mesquite High School, Mesquite, TX
How'd he get to The Blue™?
As we all probably know, Texas high school football isn't just football. It's a way of life and Dylan Sumner-Gardner (DSG) was a top talent at one of the top programs in the state. All of the major recruiting services (247Sports, ESPN, Rivals, and Scout) rated him between the 7th and 10th best safety in the country, making him a Top 100 recruit across the board. With superlatives like that, DSG got some big time offers from the likes of Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Texas, to name a few. Originally a Clemson commit, DSG switched to Texas A&M and then-Defensive Coordinator Marcel Yates in March 2013. Come to find out, he was actually committing more to Yates than to Head Coach Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies. After the dust settled from Chris Petersen's departure from Boise State, new Head Coach Bryan Harsin brought Yates on to revamp the maligned defense for the Broncos. Once things became officially official, DSG broke off his commitment to A&M and pledged to Boise State without ever stepping foot on campus. The bond between him and his coach must be quite strong. Not only did the Broncos receive a commitment from the best recruit in the program's history, DSG graduated early and arrived on campus in time for 2014 Spring ball.
'Twas meant to be.
They're still a bit far off face-wise, but DSG is getting into "hair twin" territory with 90s rapper Kid.
Appeared in 13 of 14 games as a true freshman for the Broncos in 2014. Played in the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game following a senior season where he completely dominated his opponents, totaling 141 tackles, three forced fumbles, and three interceptions. That performance also gained him spots on the Texas Class 4A All-State Second Team, Second-Team All-Area by the Dallas Morning News, and District 10-4A First Team.
Sumner-Gardner probably got more of a trial-by-fire last season than he, or any of us anticipated—but it could end up paying dividends in 2015. Sumner-Gardner was singled out early as a guy that was going to play in 2014 as a true freshman and in fact, that's just what he did...of course, we didn't know at the time that Jeremy Ioane was going to be so limited due to his kidney condition or that safety depth would end up being so thin with other injuries plaguing the unit. Sumner-Gardner I think could have benefited from being brought along a bit more slowly—after all, safety is a very cerebral and vital part of the defense and he'd only just arrived. But football hands you lemons sometimes and DSG was tasked with stepping into a high-pressure spot maybe a bit earlier than he might have bargained for. The silver lining for 2015, however is obvious. Sumner-Gardner now has 13 games of collegiate experience under his belt and should be able to put together a sophomore campaign less filled with starts and stops.
Not to say that DSG's 19 tackles (1 TFL) and 2 PBUs a season ago weren't good, I'd say those numbers were in line with a few other true freshman DBs in Bronco history that ended up as good NFL prospects. DSG, however, has to bear considerably loftier expectations right out of the gate and that makes last season's extra reps even more important for him...to help take some of that performance pressure off. The first depth chart of the season featured DSG as the starting strong safety over Chanceller James. Even if this is in part due to James' knee injury rehab, I think it says a lot about how far he's come since Spring of last season till now. DSG is a hard worker and he appears focused on making the most of his time in Boise. I expect to see him rise to the challenge and make a big impact in 2015. He and James may end up co-starters at some point, but I don't think that will lessen the impact in any way.
Is he on Twitter?
If Boise Had A Chicken Express— . (@_KingDSG) August 3, 2015
There is a Popeye's on Fairview and soon to be one on Broadway. I've never been to Chicken Express, but it can't beat Popeye's, can it?
Completely made up fact
Last year, in an effort to get Dylan on the field, the Broncos looked at him as tailback in some designed rushing packages. Unsurprisingly, the packages became known as RUN-DSG.