Sumner-Gardner’s Impact for Game Five

Photo via Pam Davis

DSG’s Bronco History

Free Safety, Dylan Sumner-Gardner, a redshirt sophomore, came to the Broncos in 2014. A four star recruit, Sumner-Gardner entered his freshman campaign alongside new defensive coordinator, Marcel Yates. Yates was one of the positive factors that peaked Sumner-Gardner’s interest in the Blue.

Sumner-Gardner made an immediate impact in the Bronco secondary. As a freshman, he played in thirteen games racking up nineteen total tackles and two pass deflections. He was apart of a few blitz packages that saw him create havoc for opposing quarterbacks.

This past season, Sumner-Gardner’s playing time was cut short due to injury. Just four games in to the season, he broke his ankle. Though he was expected to return later in the season, Sumner-Gardner never saw the field again in 2015. Thus, Boise State applied for a medical redshirt which was later granted by the NCAA.

In November of 2015, Sumner-Gardner was involved with law enforcement concerning a traffic stop. After a long process that eventually involved drug paraphernalia and possession with the intent to use, he pleaded guilty and was issued a misdemeanor in February.

The Tuesday before the 2016 opener against the University of Louisiana Lafayette, Sumner-Gardner had been suspended four games as a result of failing to meet NCAA football academic eligibility requirements. His first eligible game will be Friday night against the New Mexico Lobos.

Safeties vs. New Mexico’s Offense 

Cameron Hartsfield, a junior safety, was promoted to starter in his absence. In the game against the Rajun’ Cajuns, the Bronco secondary played without both of their starting safeties. Senior Chancellor James did not play for undisclosed reasons. Thus, freshman Evan Tyler stepped into the starting role alongside Hartsfield.

The two performed at an exquisite level as the Rajun Cajun’s defense only scored a touch down and a field goal. However, Tyler just recently suffered a season-ending injury. The return of Sumner-Gardner could not be more perfect as the depth of the safety position is running thin.

The New Mexico Lobos present the Bronco defense with an obscure challenge. They like to run the triple option as their primary source of offensive plays. In years past, the Broncos have struggled with stopping the potency of the triple option. The Lobo’s running back, Jhurell Pressley, recently with the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, obtained an outstanding 132 rushing yards against the Bronco’s defense last season.

This season, for the Lobos, features another skillful running back. His name is Teriyon Gipson and he leads the NCAA in yards per carry. The Bronco’s must stop the Lobo’s ground game if they hope to win Friday night’s contest.

That being said, if they take away the Lobo’s ground game, they will be forced to obtain yardage through the air. This is where Sumner-Gardner’s return could make a positive impact. With no collegiate career interceptions, Sumner-Gardner has the possibility of obtaining his first this coming Friday. Thus, it is crucial that the Bronco safeties, in particular, stay at home as the deep ball exploited them multiple times last season when facing run-based offenses.

What Role Can We Expect From DSG? 

Sumner-Gardner comes back to the Bronco’s defensive secondary this week. Before the season started, it was assumed he would be the starter by default. However Cameron Hartsfield has done what is expected at the free safety position. Though the starting role will more than likely include Hartsfield and James, Sumner-Gardner should see some decent playing time this week.

Coming into five week, there is no doubt he is ready to prove himself to Bronco Nation. With game five of the Bronco’s season rapidly approaching, look for Sumner-Gardner to begin the process of climbing the hierarchic means of the depth chart to obtain his once glorious role of starter.


About Darrek Harris

Darrek Harris
Darrek was born and raised in Boise, ID. Currently, he has an associates degree in English from the College of Western Idaho. He plans to pursue a bachelors degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He enjoys sports in many fashions: playing, cheering, and coaching. Bleed Blue, Go Broncos, Amen!

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