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Darqueze Dennard
CB #21
Height:
5-11
Weight:
202
Age:
22
College:
Michigan State
Hometown:
Dry Branch, GA
Experience:
R

Quick Stats (2014 PRE):

TCKL
4
SCK
1.0
FF
0
INT
--

No Data

No Data

No Data

No Data

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Bio

      A USA Today first-team All-American as a Michigan State senior, Dennard brings Bengals an impeccable resume of high-caliber performance, consistency and character ... Started 38 games for MSU over his final three seasons and last year helped lead the Spartans to No. 1 national rankings in fewest yards allowed per game (248.2) and lowest third-down conversion percentage (27.7) ... Team finished No. 3 nationally after 13-1 season (8-0 in Big Ten) with Rose Bowl win over Stanford ... Was 2013 winner of the Thorpe Award, given annually to college football’s top DB ... Had 10 career INTs ... His style of play and reliability has inspired favorable comparisons with CB Leon Hall, who has started for Bengals since his first-round selection out of Michigan in 2007.
A USA Today first-team All-American as a Michigan State senior, Dennard brings Bengals an impeccable resume of high-caliber performance, consistency and character ... Started 38 games for MSU over his final three seasons and last year helped lead the Spartans to No. 1 national rankings in fewest yards allowed per game (248.2) and lowest third-down conversion percentage (27.7) ... Team finished No. 3 nationally after 13-1 season (8-0 in Big Ten) with Rose Bowl win over Stanford ... Was 2013 winner of the Thorpe Award, given annually to college football’s top DB ... Had 10 career INTs ... His style of play and reliability has inspired favorable comparisons with CB Leon Hall, who has started for Bengals since his first-round selection out of Michigan in 2007.

    Career transactions: Selected by Cincinnati in first round of 2014 NFL Draft (24th overall) ... Signed with Bengals on 6-12-14.

    Coach Marvin Lewis says: “We really feel good about the style of play Darqueze demonstrated at Michigan State. They were a big-time pressure defense the last year or so, so he’s been out there by himself quite a bit. He’s not afraid, and at that position you can’t be scared. He can run and cover, and he gets his hands on guys. Also, we like the quality he shows as a person and how he carries himself. He was a leader there, so he fits the mold we were looking for.”

    One game matters: Despite lettering four years at Twiggs Co. High School (Jeffersonville, Ga.) — and helping lead the team to an 11-2 record as a senior — Dennard went virtually unrecruited by colleges. He did not have a viable scholarship offer, even from a junior college, entering his final prep game. But fate cast him in that last game against Dooly County High and WR Keith Mumphrey, who had already signed with Michigan State. MSU coaches, on hand to watch Mumphrey, saw Dennard post an outstanding performance against Mumphrey and convinced head coach Mark Dantonio to sign him. “I probably wouldn’t have played any more football (if not for that game),” Dennard says. “I’d still be around the Macon (Ga.) area, working a nine-to-five.”

    College highlights: Played four seasons (2010-13) at Michigan State, playing 44 games with 40 starts ... Totaled 167 tackles, 10 INTs, 30 total passes defensed, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a blocked FG ... Earned reputation as a strong tackler against the run. 2013—First MSU CB to earn first-team All-America since Harlon Barnett (Cincinnati native from Princeton High School) in 1989 ... First MSU player to win the Thorpe Award since its 1986 inception ... Earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors in 26-14 win over Iowa, with two INTs and two TD-saving tackles ... Had an INT and a forced fumble in win over Michigan that was MSU’s third straight game without allowing a TD. 2012—Earned first-team all-conference honors from league coaches and ESPN.com ... Credited by coaches with no pass completions in his area in two games, and with only one completion in six other contests. 2011—Took over starting CB duties as a sophomore ... Missed two games with injuries but earned honorable mention all-conference from media ... His three INTs included 38-yard return for TD, and he blocked FG vs. Wisconsin. 2010—Played six games as true freshman, missing five with knee injury.

    High school: Lettered in football, basketball and track at Twiggs County High School (Jeffersonville, Ga.) ... Two-way player in football, seeing action at WR and CB ... Twice earned all-state honors from Georgia Sports Writers Association... As a senior, helped lead his 11-2 team to a 468-119 advantage in points, catching 40-for-502 with 11 TDs, getting two TDs on his nine INTs and averaging 27.2 yards on punt returns.

    Personal: Hometown is Dry Branch, Ga. ... Communications major at Michigan State ... First name is pronounced “dar-KWEZ” and last name is pronounced “deh-NARD.”

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