Bronco Beat

Top recruit building a role for Boise State football team

Boise State safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner opened fall camp in a rare position for a true freshman.

He is expected to play.

Sumner-Gardner, a top-100 recruit, joined the Broncos in January and was impressive enough in the spring to land a backup spot at the competitive safety position.

“Dylan’s done a great job,” Brown said. “He’s still 17 years old. The one thing about Dylan is he’s a great kid, those kids like him and he likes them, and they get along really well. For him, he should still be in high school or just getting done, and he’s been here all spring. It’s continuing for him to learn our playbook, learn our checks and things that we need to make, but I’m encouraged by him — he studies and he wants to be great, so I’m excited.”

The Broncos return starting safeties Jeremy Ioane and Darian Thompson, experienced backups Dillon Lukehart and Taylor Loffler and promising sophomore Chanceller James at the two safety spots.

“It’s a big group,” Brown said. “The one thing they know, we’re not afraid to change the depth chart.”

Regardless of where he factors into the safety rotation, Sumner-Gardner is slated to play.

“He’s going to play on special teams, going to help us a bunch,” Brown said. “He’s going to play on defense. For us and him, it’s figuring out the role to put him in so he can have the most success.”

Brian Murphy caught up with running backs coach Kent Riddle for a column on Jay Ajayi. Here’s what Riddle had to say about the other backs:

— On the group: “We’ve got a good solid crew there. They complement each other nicely. There’s a different variety of guys back there, so we can do a lot of different things. They’re all physical and feel confident they can go in there and do what we need them to do.”

— On using multiple backs at the same time: “I’m sure we will at some points.”

— On specific players: “(Devan Demas), the first thing that comes to mind is speed and elusiveness. Jack Fields is a hard runner. He can put his pads down and get north and south. (Charles) Bertoli is a guy that can do a little bit of everything. He’s got speed. He’s got power. He really worked his butt off this summer and put himself in a great position to contribute. The young guys have impressed us in limited action so far. They show like they’re going to be good players here in the future.”

— On how he wants the tailbacks to play: “We want to deliver the blow, not take the blow. That’s always going to be our goal. We’re not going to turn down the chance. There is a little bit of intelligence to it. If you’re hemmed in and there’s nowhere to go, then be smart about that. We’re going to try to set the tone for the whole team by being the most physical guys on the field. We talked about that the other day — physicality is a choice.”

Here is our post from Wednesday on Ajayi.

The Broncos hold a closed scrimmage tonight. Bryan Harsin will address the media for the first time since practice began at 8 p.m. We’ll have notes and video in the Bronco Beat blog tonight.

There’s a link below to download our iPhone, iPad and Android apps called Bronco Blitz. That’s the easiest way to keep up with all of our coverage, which has included five or six stories/blogs per day and a similar number of videos.

Email me at ccripe@idahostatesman.com.

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