The son of Charles F. Dryer and Genevieve Nell Clark, Dryer began his football career at Lawndale High School in Lawndale, California, and then attended El Camino Junior College before transferring to San Diego State University (SDSU).
Dryer was inducted to the El Camino C.C. Athletic Hall Of Fame in 1988, as a charter member and was the Athlete of the Year for his 1966 performance on the football field. Dryer was also a 1966 Junior College All-American
During Dryer's junior and senior seasons, in which he lettered both seasons, at San Diego State, the Aztecs had a combined record of 19-1-1. They were the College Division National Champions in both seasons. In 1967 they topped both the Associated Press and United Press International polls as #1. In 1968 San Diego State was voted the champions by UPI and North Dakota State topped the AP poll and thus the two schools shared the College-Division title. Dryer was voted the outstanding defensive lineman on the team and as such was the recipient of the Byron H. Chase Memorial Trophy. One of Dryer's teammates was Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the first four films of the Rocky series. In 1967 the Aztecs allowed 12.9 points a game on defense, which is still ninth in SDSU history. In 1967 and 1968 the Aztec run defense allowed just 80.1 and 100.1 yards per game, still fourth and fifth, respectively in school annals after nearly forty years.
Dryer was named to the Little All-America team in 1968 since at the time the school was 1-AA. Dryer played in the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco, the Hula Bowl in Honolulu and the College All-Star Game in Chicago where the college stars played the world champion New York Jets.
In 1988, Dryer was inducted into the San Diego State University Aztec Hall of Fame. In 1997 Dryer received college football's ultimate honor in being voted to the College Football Hall of Fame and is one of only three SDSU Aztecs in the collegiate Hall of Fame. When voted into the San Diego Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, Dryer joined athletes such as Ted Williams, Dan Fouts, Dave Winfield, and Tony Gwynn in receiving the preeminent recognition for a San Diego athlete.
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