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Safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner of Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite is up to nine offers, and recently the recruiting process has picked up noticeably for the former Clemson commit. On Thursday, Sumner-Gardner was offered by both Notre Dame and Texas Tech. "It feels really good to get an offer from a team in the national championship," Sumner-Gardner said. "I actually first knew about Notre Dame as a kid from watching the movie Rudy. That's what I think of when I think of Notre Dame." Sumner-Gardner said the offer was delivered by Notre Dame cornerbacks coach, Kerry Cooks. "Coaches and I had been emailing back and forth," Sumner-Gardner said. "I was in class today [Thursday] and I got an email from Coach Cooks asking me if I was really interested in Notre Dame," Sumner-Gardner said. "I told him I was because I like Notre Dame's style of play on defense, especially the defensive backs. I got his contact information, and called him, and he said I had an offer." After Thursday's offers came rolling in, Notre Dame has positioned itself favorably in Sumner-Gardner's schools of preference. "My top schools are Texas A&M, Texas, and Notre Dame," he said. I think Texas could be close to offering. I am going to their junior day next weekend. I am about 50/50 on location and leaving Texas. Those are the schools I like right now, but nobody is out." Even though the West Mesquite standout parted ways with Clemson last month in terms of a commitment, Sumner-Gardner says there's no hard feelings and Clemson will continue to recruit him. "Coach [Dabo] Swinney sat me down, and he said that it wasn't right if I was married to Clemson but still looking around at other schools," Sumner-Gardner said. "He wasn't mean about it at all, but he was just being straight-forward. So, I went home and thought about it for a while, and then I called [Clemson defensive coordinator] Coach [Brent] Venables on the phone. I told him out of respect for Coach Swinney and so I don't make Clemson look bad, I was going to decommit." Clemson has also offered West Mesquite's quarterback, sophomore Chason Virgil. "Chason is like a brother to me," Sumner-Gardner said. "We talk about football, we work out together, and we're the leaders of this team. He's the leader on offense and I'm the leader on defense. We haven't really talked about playing together, but we both just want to get a good education." Sumner-Gardner says he hopes to decide on a school before his senior year starts or soon thereafter. "Academics is going to be the most important thing, followed by a school with a great atmosphere," he said. "I want to visit Notre Dame, but I don't think I can get up there until I take official visits. It's a little far." Sumner-Gardner has visited Baylor and Texas A&M this spring. Nailing down a spring schedule isn't easy for him, however. "I run track, and that's starting to pick up," he said. "The 100-meter is my favorite. It helps me for football." Sumner-Gardner is a three-star prospect and ranked as the No. 11 safety in 2014.
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