BOISE – New Boise State coach Bryan Harsin and his staff made a statement to the rest of the Mountain West and possibly the rest of the country on Saturday. Look out.

Harsin and new defensive coordinator Marcel Yates convinced 4-star safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner of Mesquite (Texas) High to flip his commitment from Texas A&M to Boise State.

Sumner-Gardner is ranked as the No. 8 safety and the No. 95 overall player in the class of 2014 according to Yates was previously the co-defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

“I felt like I could start at A&M and at Boise, but I feel like at Boise I can really be the person that changes the program around,” Sumner-Gardner. “I can really be that face for Boise State.

“I’ve been thinking about it since I heard the news about coach Yates getting the job as defensive coordinator so I just researched Boise State. I researched their academics and I looked at the Medical program and that really stood out because I want to be an RN.”

Sumner-Gardner is also ranked in the top 100 by ESPN (93) and (86) and is one of the best prospects in terms of rankings to pick the Broncos out of high school in several years. ranks him as the No. 10 safety in the 2014 class.

The 6-foot-2, 197-pound safety was previously committed to Clemson prior to switching to the Aggies. According to, Sumner-Gardner had offers from Auburn, LSU, Baylor, Notre Dame, TCU, Texas and Nebraska among others.

Yates is the only player or coach that Sumner-Gardner knows at Boise State. But that was enough for him.

“I have a lot of trust in coach Yates,” Sumner-Gardner said. “Coach Yates and I have that bond with each other. He was one of the coaches I could trust throughout this whole recruiting process.”

Sumner-Gardner already graduated from high school and will enroll at Boise State for the start of the spring semester on Jan. 21. He will participate in spring practice and could be a candidate to see immediate playing time as a true freshman this fall.

“They are going to start that playoff system and I feel like with coach Yates coming in, we’re going to have a dominant defense,” Sumner-Gardner said. “When people see Boise State in the playoffs, they are going to be real shocked.”

Sumner-Gardner is the first known commitment for Boise State since Harsin was hired as head coach on Dec. 11.

Coaches are not allowed to comment on recruits per NCAA rules, but Harsin did send out a tweet Saturday afternoon that said, “GO BRONCOS!” shortly before news broke that Sumner-Gardner had flipped his commitment to Boise State.

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  • B.J Rains covers Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press-Tribune. He also makes daily appearances on ESPN Boise.


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