Dylan Sumner-Gardner in 2012 after committing to Clemson - ESPN
DS-G is one of the top defensive back prospects in a state that is full of them for the 2014 class.
Name: Dylan Sumner-Gardner
High school and hometown: Sumner-Gardner is from West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas.
Position: Sumner-Gardner is a defensive back who projects at safety.
Height and weight: Sumner-Gardner is 6'1, 193 pounds.
Ratings: Considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals, Scout sees DS-G as a three-star prospect, while ESPN has not yet rated him. The 247Sports composite ranks him as a top-10 safety nationally.
Offers: DS-G has offers from Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. He committed to Clemson in June of 2012, decommitted in late January, and committed to the Aggies at their second Junior Day on March 2, 2013.
Twitter: You can find Sumner-Gardner on Twitter @_DGardner10.
Highlights: DS-G's highlights are available on Hudl.
By the time he reaches college, Sumner-Gardner should check in at around 200 pounds on his 6'1 frame -- prototypical size for a safety, the position that he plays for West Mesquite in high school. Eventually, DS-G should be able to add another 10-15 pounds after that to a frame that is still lean at over 190 pounds.
With reported 4.58 speed in the 40, he doesn't have ideal speed to spin down at times to cover slot receivers, though many high school 40 times are completely bogus -- if his time is legitimate, he's still fast enough to have some upside in man-to-man coverage, possibly as a nickel corner, where his physicality against the run and screen games would benefit him. In any case, his speed in pads is absolutely good enough to make a difference in coverage, even if he doesn't end up masquerading as a cornerback in college.
As a big hitter, Sumner-Gardner can show the ability to take good angles in pursuit, whether coming downhill, chasing a receiver from behind, or moving laterally towards the sideline. When he arrives, he often does a good job of wrapping up and driving his legs from his explosive lower body. The instances where he doesn't wrap up tend to be times when he can use his momentum and the sideline to his advantage, which is much different than doing so in the open-field, where the possibility of a missed tackle in those situations increases substantially.
Overall, Sumner-Gardner is an an enforcer across the middle in the passing game, tackles well in run support, and makes some plays in coverage with his instincts and ability to read and react to the eyes of the quarterback.
Scout would do well to increase his rating to four stars sooner rather than later because DS-G is one of the best strikers in the 2014 defensive back class in Texas, and that is no small feat.
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