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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Watch List safety talks TAMU offer

By Damon Sayles

For all of his life, ESPN Watch List safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to play college football for Clemson and follow in the footsteps of his all-time favorite football player, Brian Dawkins.

When Sumner-Gardner picked up the offer in June, he immediately gave Clemson his verbal commitment. Sumner-Gardner never expected to get an offer that could look Clemson in the eye. On Wednesday, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety picked up an offer from Texas A&M, a program that has been phenomenal with recruiting its 2013 class and is off to a very impressive start in 2014.

While he’s still committed to the Tigers, Sumner-Gardner now has something to think about.

“It’s good to know that TAMU has offered,” Sumner-Gardner said. “I like that their safeties can cover and their defense can dominate. Now I know if I go there, I’d go somewhere where I know some of the players and be a lot closer to home.”

If Sumner-Gardner chooses to switch commitments, he could be reunited with a player he considers his big brother in two years. West Mesquite teammate -- and ESPN 300 safety -- Kameron Miles gave the Aggies his verbal pledge in November.

“This is going to be hard for me,” Sumner-Gardner said of the ensuing decision. “I know Kam’s going to be out there, and he and I played well together. If I were to go to A&M, I know we’d have great chemistry.

“Clemson is still my school right now, and I’m committed to them. I’m just going to weigh all my options for now.”

Sumner-Gardner helped West Mesquite to an 8-3 record and a trip to the Texas Class 4A Division I playoffs this past season. He has additional offers from Auburn, Ole Miss and TCU.

Dawkins is Sumner-Gardner’s favorite player from Clemson. Does he have a favorite from Texas A&M?

“Johnny Manziel,” he said. “That’s an easy one.”