Columns & Blogs

Boise State's Sumner-Gardner making early impression

Sometimes Boise State football coaches have to remind themselves that safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner should be joining the team this fall.

"It's hard when I look at him and realize he's only 17 years old. He should really be at high school, going to his prom, but he's here working out with us and doing everything we're asking him to do," Boise State defensive backs coach Julius Brown said.

Sumner-Gardner, a four-star recruit who decommitted from Texas A&M and followed Marcel Yates to Boise State, had an interception and a big third-down tackle in Saturday's scrimmage. Sumner-Gardner (6-foot-1, 201 pounds) is currently a second-team safety, behind starters Jeremy Ioane and Darian Thompson.

Boise State holds its spring game Saturday at 5 p.m.

"He's playing well right now," Yates said after the scrimmage. "The one thing that the kid is is physical. He will hit you. He doesn't shy away from contact. He's always in there watching film. He's a student of the game. He's getting better every week."

That off-field work has impressed Brown, too.

"He's a great kid. To be that highly recruited, to have that many people calling you all the time, he's really humble. He's in the office all the time. He doesn't ask for anything. He works hard. I've been really encouraged with that," Brown said. "The one thing about him being a young guy is he studies a lot of film. He's in usually when I'm leaving or he'll come in through the office. I've been really pleased with him. He just needs to keep working, which he is. He's doing a great job of fitting in with his teammates. They love him. I've been really pleased with him."

There is still a learning curve for Sumner-Gardner. Head coach Bryan Harsin said the young safety made adjustments between the Broncos' first closed scrimmage to Saturday's event. Sumner-Gardner's interception came on a deep ball down the middle of the field.

"What his challenge this week was was doing his job. Do his job. Don't try to do anything more. You got good guys around you, just do your part," Harsin said after Saturday's scrimamge. "He went out there playing with confidence. This is all I have to do. Rather than I have to go out and try to make every single play, which is what happened in the first scrimmage. If he continues with that mentality, then he's going to be alright."

Expectations are that Sumner-Gardner will be more than alright.