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2015 NFL DRAFT

Darqueze Dennard, CB

School: Michigan State  |  Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Dry Branch, GA
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 199 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
1611
Player News
05/12/2014 - A closer look at the Bengals' picks: Round 1/24 -- Darqueze Dennard, CB, 5-11, 199, Michigan State...The Bengals needed to get younger at corner and felt lucky Dennard slipped into their laps at 24. Most had him projected five to 10 picks earlier, but he fits perfectly into a man-press scheme. - The Sports Xchange

05/12/2014 - CB Dennard gives Bengals Hall clone...Lewis doesn't expect Dennard to come in and start, but knows he couldn't ask for a more veteran room to help mold his maturity. "I've had exposure to him a couple times in person, and you're impressed with him and how he carries himself and handles himself," he said. "Now he's got to step in here, and he's coming into a room that's a very talented room. He's got to go in there and he's got to compete for playing time. All he does is make our football team better. We've got some guys who have played great football and they're not willing to give up their spots. He's going to have to come in here and work his tail off, and I think he can do that. I also think he can contribute on special teams. He's a guy that really has a chance to enhance what we do on Sundays." - The Sports Xchange

05/12/2014 - CB Dennard gives Bengals Hall clone...Coaches stressed Dennard's character as a captain and leader at Michigan State. His technique and decision-making brought out reminders of a player everyone in the defensive room was familiar with. "When we worked him out, (co-defensive backs coach) Vance (Joseph) and I said, 'That's Leon Hall,'" defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. "He's technique-sound; he does what he's asked to do," All the coaches at Michigan State rave about the guy. He always takes the extra step to do things the right way. That's the kind of guy we want around here." During his senior campaign Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the country and was a finalist of the top defensive player in the nation. He had 118 passes targeted at him, allowing just 18 of those to be completed.

Dennard totaled 167 tackles and 30 passes defended (10 interceptions, 20 pass break-ups) in 44 career games, including 40 starts, 29 consecutive to close out career. He will begin a youth movement at cornerback where their top three corners will all cross the 30-year-old threshold by the end of next season. Terence Newman is 35, Adam Jones 30 and Hall 29 coming off his second Achilles injury in three years. This marks the fourth time Lewis selected a cornerback in the first round. He also took Johnathan Joseph (2006), Leon Hall (2007) and Dre Kirkpatrick (2012) there. The Bengals also believe Dennard can play in the slot as a nickel corner. That will be particularly helpful since current fourth corner Kirkpatrick wasn't as well suited to play inside. - The Sports Xchange

05/12/2014 - CB Dennard gives Bengals Hall clone...As Darqueze Dennard slipped down the draft board while watching the NFL Draft with his friends and family in his hometown of Macon, Ga., he could sense the anxiety. Before the Cincinnati Bengals called, Dennard jumped and did a dance to lighten the mood. Minutes later the whole party danced along with him when the Bengals called to inform him he would be the No. 24 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. "There was a sigh of relief in the room, really," Dennard said. "I wasn't really worried. My family was a little worried because they paid attention to all the mock drafts and things like that. I didn't pay too much attention to that." The Bengals did, hence the surprise when he still sat on the board almost three hours into the first round. Talk circled the room about trading up, but when the Browns traded with Philadelphia for Johnny Manziel, it all but assured Cincinnati would land their guy.

It was just enough to let one of the late premier players on their list slip to them. Head coach Marvin Lewis happily accepted the assist from his divisional neighbor. "The quarterback going was helpful to us," Lewis said. "There were a couple of teams as you saw that wanted to slide back a little bit. I think we valued keeping the picks we have and it kind of worked out for us." - The Sports Xchange

05/08/2014 - 2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 16/1. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State, 5-11, 199, 4.41, 1...After injury-marred 2012 season, Dennard exploded in 2013 to demoralize several offenses and win numerous awards, including the Jim Thorpe, Tatum-Woodson, and first-team All-America. Tough, plays with pain, but history of injuries dating back to 2010 could concern teams (sports hernia required two surgeries, shoulder, ankle, knee). Prepares hard, plays harder and excels at press-and-run. Although his announced 40-yard time at combine was 4.51 seconds, he had four clockings there between 4.41 and 4.42, which is a bit more comforting to scouts who dwell on such things. Frankly: Dennard has the talent, attitude and short memory needed to survive in NFL, but may need to be more sly when man-handling receivers. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com

05/06/2014 - The Sports Xchange 2014 NFL Draft Best Team Fit: Philadelphia Eagles...CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: The 5-foot-11, 199-pound Dennard is a perfect fit for the Eagles' defense. His strength is press coverage, which the Eagles play a lot of. He's also a strong tackler, which is something else the Eagles emphasize from their corners. Dennard is one of five corners who could go in the first round, along with Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller, TCU's Jason Verrett and Ohio State's Bradley Roby. Even though he is considered one of the top three corners in the draft, there is a good possibility he will make it down to them. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

05/06/2014 - Dane Brugler's 2014 NFL Draft Final Top-50: 18. Darqueze Dennard CB, Michigan State (5-11, 199, 4.52, SR)...The 2013 winner of the Thorpe Award, Dennard has average speed and size for the position, but he is smart, competitive and confident. If he can eliminate the downfield contact, Dennard has a chance to be a very good cover man in the NFL for a long time. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

05/06/2014 - The Sports Xchange 2014 NFL Draft Best Team Fit: N.Y. Jets...CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: With Eric Decker providing the Jets a legitimate option at wide receiver, the suddenly cornerback-starved Jets will likely have to take a shot on a stud prospect with an injury-marred history for the second straight year. Like Dee Milliner last year, Dennard is going to go in the first round despite undergoing multiple surgeries as a collegian. Unlike Milliner, who barely resembled an NFL player until December, Dennard -- a first-team All-America last year who allowed just three completions of longer than 15 yards -- should be ready to step in as an immediate starter. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

05/06/2014 - The Sports Xchange 2014 NFL Draft Best Team Fit: Pittsburgh Steelers...CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: The Steelers are old and thin at the position and he fits their defense with his aggressive style, his coverage ability and his play against the run. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

04/29/2014 - Five players who should be on Pittsburgh's draft radar: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: The Steelers' cornerbacks don't strike fear in the hearts of opposing wide receivers. Soon-to-be 34-year-old Ike Taylor is a shell of his old self and Cortez Allen and William Gay are solid options, but that's not quite good enough, especially in a division with A.J. Green and Josh Gordon. So it's understandable why Colbert and Tomlin traveled to East Lansing for Dennard's pro day and have shown so much interest in the Michigan State cornerback. The star of the Spartans' "No Fly Zone," Dennard was the Jim Thorpe Award winner in 2013 with 14 passes defended and four interceptions. He lacks track speed, but has enough wheels, allowing very little separation with his read/react quickness and smooth body control. Dennard is a tad too grabby and needs to learn what he can get away with at the NFL level, but he's sticky in coverage and projects as a reliable NFL starter. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

04/29/2014 - Five players who should be on the New York Jets' draft radar: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: The Jets nabbed Milliner, the 2013 Thorpe Award winner, with the No. 9 overall selection a year ago and may find this year's recipient still on the board with the 18th pick. Physical, instinctive and best-suited to play in a press-heavy scheme like the one Ryan employs, Dennard would be an ideal match. He may lack the elite speed scouts love but he plays fast due to good instincts and smooth change of direction. Further, he's poised when the ball is in the air, showing very good hand-eye coordination to either intercept the pass or at least break it up. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/21/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Defensive Backs: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, 5-11, 199, 4.51...After injury-marred 2012 season, Dennard exploded in 2013 to demoralize several offenses and win numerous awards, including the Jim Thorpe, Tatum-Woodson, and first-team All-America. Tough, plays with pain, but history of injuries dating back to 2010 could concern teams (sports hernia required two surgeries, shoulder, ankle, knee). Prepares hard, plays harder and excels at press-and-run. Although his announced 40-yard time at combine was 4.51 seconds, he had four clockings there between 4.41 and 4.42, which is a bit more comforting to scouts who dwell on such things. Frankly: Dennard has the talent, attitude and short memory needed to survive in NFL, but may need to be more sly when man-handling receivers. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

03/26/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft: Week 2 Pro Day takeaways...Dennard and Gilbert continue to ascend...For many (not me), the top two cornerbacks in this draft class are Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard and Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert. Both had positive showings at the combine and kept that momentum going this week with strong Pro Day performances. Dennard's 4.51 40-yard dash in Indianapolis wasn't spectacular, but it wasn't terrible either. However, his results in the vertical jump (36-inch) and broad jump (11-foot-2) at Michigan State's pro day this week can be classified as spectacular, showing off his lower body explosion and technique. Dennard didn't do either drill at the combine due to a left hamstring injury, but he looked plenty healthy this week and helped solidify himself as a top-20 prospect. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

02/27/2014 - 2014 NFL COMBINE: 10 TAKEAWAYS FROM INDIANAPOLIS: 10. Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard, NFLDraftScout.com's top-ranked cornerback and reigning Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top defensive back, officially clocked in at 4.51 seconds, a time that paled in comparison to some of his peers but when taken in conjunction with his fluid hips, physicality and awareness, puts him in position to earn a spot among the top 15 selections. At 4.37 and 4.38 seconds, respectively, Gilbert and Verrett turned in the two fastest times among all athletes tested Tuesday. Due to Gilbert's inconsistent technique and Verrett's size (5-foot-9, 189 pounds), not all scouts are convinced either will be a surefire star in the NFL but given the explosive athleticism they demonstrated Tuesday, expect some team to gamble in the first round on this being the case. - The Sports Xchange

02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 11. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State, 5-11, 197, 4.52, 1...After injury-marred 2012 season (sports hernia required two surgeries), Dennard exploded in 2013 to demoralize several offenses and win numerous awards, including the Jim Thorpe, Tatum-Woodson, and first-team All-America. Tough, plays with pain, but has history of injuries dating back to 2010 that could concern teams (sports hernia, shoulder, ankle, knee). Prepares hard and plays harder and excels at press-and-run. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Combine: From 40 times to Fritos, 10 Bold Predictions: 7. With Risers, come Fallers. Many NFL personnel types will tell you that a poor workout at the combine can't hurt your grade, but watch how Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard and Florida State wideout Kelvin Benjamin slip down mock drafts when each turns in a slower than ideal 40 time. Neither looks faster than mid-4.5s on tape and times in the 4.6s wouldn't shock me. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/19/2014 - 2014 NFL Combine: 10 prospects with the most to gain/lose: 5. CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State...Arguably the top collegiate cornerback in the country this past year, Dennard won't have the fastest 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, but if he runs in the 4.42-4.48 range, the whispers that he lacks NFL speed will start to quiet down. He is able to be effective with his quick, coordinated feet to mirror and the physical demeanor to match up against anyone on the football field. But right or wrong, many evaluators in the NFL believe cornerbacks need break a certain speed threshold in the 40-yard dash to crack the top-20 picks. A number in the 4.5 range won't kill his draft status, but a 4.4 could really help. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/01/2014 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: Michigan State is 9-14 in bowl games but has been to seven straight since Dantonio took over in 2007. The Spartans have won two straight after beating Georgia in the Outback Bowl two seasons ago and knocking off TCU last year in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. This is Michigan State's first appearance in the Rose Bowl since Jan. 1, 1988. Senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard won the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back and proved his worth in the Big Ten title game against Ohio State. He has teamed with sophomore Trae Waynes to provide MSU with a pair of shut-down corners that allow the rest of the defense to attack opposing offenses. - The Sports Xchange

12/26/2013 - CBSSPORTS.COM ALL-AMERICANS: FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE AS NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS: CB - Darqueze Dennard, Sr., Michigan State: Possessing a lanky, athletic frame with good fluidity and speed, Dennard consistently shut down one side of the field for the Spartans in 2013, playing a critical role for MSU's No. 1 ranked defense. Honored with the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back, Dennard allowed only three completions in 31 pass attempts of 15-plus yards thrown against him this season. Dennard may be competing only with UCLA's Barr to be the first defender on this list to hear his name called on Day One of the draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

12/13/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICAN: DB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, 5-11 197, Sr., Dry Branch, CA...Dennard ranks fourth on the team in tackles (59) and fifth in production points (189). Dennard has been credited with 2.5 tackles for losses (6 yards) and ranks among the Big Ten leaders in interceptions (tied for third) and passes defended (tied for seventh at 1.08 per game).

Dennard helps anchor a defensive unit that ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in seven different stat categories: rushing defense (first at 80.8 yards per game), total defense (first at 248.2 ypg.), opponent third-down conversions (first at .277; 53-of-191), passing efficiency defense (second with 91.5 rating), scoring defense (fourth at 12.7 points per game), turnover margin (seventh at +1.1 per game) and passing defense (sixth at 167.4 ypg.). The Spartans have been ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense for 13 consecutive weeks. - Michigan State football

12/12/2013 - 2013 THORPE AWARD FINALIST (TOP DEFENSIVE BACK): Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State...Dennard ranks among the Big Ten leaders in interceptions (4), pass break-ups (7) and passes defended (11) and is one of the main reasons why Michigan State leads the FBS in total defense. He ranks fifth on the team with 47 tackles, including two for losses, and has one forced fumble. - Thorpe Award

12/12/2013 - 2013 THORPE AWARD WINNER (TOP DEFENSIVE BACK): Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State...Dennard helps anchor a defensive unit that ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in seven different stat categories: rushing defense (first at 80.8 yards per game), total defense (first at 248.2 ypg.), opponent third-down conversions (first at .277; 53-of-191), passing efficiency defense (second with 91.5 rating), scoring defense (fourth at 12.7 points per game), turnover margin (seventh at +1.1 per game) and passing defense (sixth at 167.4 ypg.).

The Spartans have been ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense for 13 consecutive weeks. He ranks fourth on the team in tackles (59) and fifth in production points (189). Dennard has been credited with 2.5 tackles for losses (6 yards) and ranks among the Big Ten leaders in interceptions (tied for third) and passes defended (tied for seventh at 1.08 per game). - Michigan State football

12/12/2013 - 2013 JACK TATUM AWARD WINNER: Michigan State senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard has been named winner of the 2013 Jack Tatum Award, presented to college football's best defensive back by The Touchdown Club of Columbus. Dennard will be honored at the 59th annual Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. Dennard becomes the sixth Michigan State player to be named the best at his respective position by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, joining Brad Van Pelt (1972 Defensive Back of the Year), Carl Banks (1983 Linebacker of the Year), Lorenzo White (1985 Running Back of the Year), Tony Mandarich (1988 Offensive Lineman of the Year) and Charles Rogers (2002 Receiver of the Year).

A first-team All-America selection by USA TODAY, Dennard was named one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (presented to the nation's top defensive back) and one of five finalists the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (presented to the nation's top defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America). He also was named the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row. - Michigan State football

12/08/2013 - 2014 NFL Draft: Darqueze Dennard, Ryan Shazier shine in title game...Just as he was about to leap, however, Dennard realized that the pass was overthrown, rather than leap and potentially tip up the pass (potentially allowing his opponent to catch it on a deflection), Dennard instead kept his feet, spun around the Buckeyes' intended target and prepared to make the tackle should his opponent make the unbelievable play. Miller's pass was too long and the ball fell harmlessly to the ground but by being in position to make the tackle rather than go for the splashy interception, Dennard played the kind of smart "bend but don't break" defense that frustrated the Buckeyes all night long. Boasting impressive athleticism and speed, Shazier and Dennard certainly possess the physical characteristics to warrant a first round selection in the 2014 draft. It was the anticipation and ability to raise their game at critical moments, however, which allowed each to stand out on this night. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

12/08/2013 - 2014 NFL Draft: Darqueze Dennard, Ryan Shazier shine in title game...Dennard, not to be out-done, was terrific on the edge, creating a turnover of his own with a forced fumble and providing lockdown coverage. Dennard's long arms and quick hands helped him rip away a well-thrown deep ball from the Buckeyes' Braxton Miller to force one long incompletion. On a second deep pass attempt, Dennard showed another key trait - great awareness - to limit what could have been a huge play for the Buckeyes.

With Miller and Ohio State feeling increasing pressure to make a big play, the Spartans knew long pass attempts were coming. On a deep ball down the right seam late in the fourth quarter, Dennard initially appeared as if he was going to leap to compete with his Buckeye opponent for the pass, sliding ahead of the receiver to be in position to knock the ball away. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

12/05/2013 - 2013 ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM (COACHES): Darqueze Dennard (UNANIMOUS), Michigan State, Defensive Back...The 5-foot-11, 197-pound Dennard, who has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, leads the Spartans in passes defended (12) and pass break-ups (8) and is tied for first in interceptions (4). He ranks fourth on the team in tackles (56) and fifth in production points (189). Dennard has been credited with 2.5 tackles for losses (6 yards) and ranks among the Big Ten leaders in interceptions (tied for third) and passes defended (tied for seventh at 1.0 per game). - Michigan State football

12/05/2013 - 2013 ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, Defensive Back...Dennard, who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row, is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (presented to the nation's top defensive back) and one of five finalists the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (presented to the nation's top defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America). A unanimous first-team pick by the coaches, Dennard was recently ranked the No. 3 defensive player in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision by CBSSports.com. - Michigan State football

12/03/2013 - 2013 BIG TEN TATUM-WOODSON DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE YEAR: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State...Dennard, who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second year in a row, is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (presented to the nation's top defensive back) and one of five finalists the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (presented to the nation's top defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America). A unanimous first-team pick by the coaches, Dennard was recently ranked the No. 3 defensive player in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision by CBSSports.com.

"Darqueze Dennard is a complete corner," Dantonio said. "He's an extremely competitive and gifted athlete. Darqueze has great ball skills, outstanding tackling ability, remarkable change of direction and plays the deep well. He really has been a cornerstone of our defense for the last three years." The 5-foot-11, 197-pound Dennard, who has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, leads the Spartans in passes defended (12) and pass break-ups (8) and is tied for first in interceptions (4). He ranks fourth on the team in tackles (56) and fifth in production points (189). - Michigan State football

11/11/2013 - Top Prospect of Week 10: Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard: While Gallon was able to corral the pass initially, Dennard snaked his long arms around the receiver's waist for the easy tackle, forcing a fumble in the process. Though Michigan recovered the ball, the precedence had been set. The Wolverines were unable to convert the upcoming third down and were forced to punt. Gallon didn't catch another pass the rest of the game.

Down 22-6 with 6:23 remaining in the game, Gardner and the Wolverines were desperate to score a touchdown. They'd only crossed the Michigan State 20-yard line once to this point and that is precisely where they found themselves when Gardner decided to challenge Dennard, who was again latched onto Gallon in press coverage. Cutting off the inside, Dennard forced the 5-foot-8, 194-pound Gallon towards the left sideline.

Gardner, expecting his receiver to be inside, drilled the ball up the sideline only to find Dennard turning towards him to make an easy interception that essentially sealed the game for the Spartans. Dennard finished the game with five tackles, as well as the interception and forced fumble. It was his ability to shut down Gallon -- the most gifted receiver he's faced thus far in 2013 - that has his stock on the rise. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

11/11/2013 - TOP 10 BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF 2013: 3. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, CB: The top-ranked Spartan defense has a crew of guys who merited consideration for this list (DE Shilique Calhoun and LBs Max Bullough and Denicos Allen), but it's Dennard who is the best of the bunch. MSU makes its bones with its aggressive pressure packages and that relies on excellent DBs. Dennard is as close to a lock-down corner as you're getting in college football and is a great blitzer and reliable tackler. He has NFL scouts salivating. He also has three INTs, seven passes broken up, a forced fumble and four QB hurries. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

11/11/2013 - Top Prospect of Week 10: Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard: The NFL is the ultimate copycat league and with the success of the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, scouts are searching for big, physical cornerbacks with the aggression to fight through blocks to make plays at the line of scrimmage as well as the ball-skills to make quarterbacks pay for challenging them deep. At 5-foot-11, 197 pounds, Dennard may lack Sherman and Browner's size but, as he demonstrated in Michigan State's 29-6 demolition of rival Michigan November 2, he certainly boasts the grit and mitts to fit right in with Seattle's so-called Legion of Boom deep patrol.

Boasting a front seven as physical and sound as any in college football, Michigan State entered their showdown with the Wolverines leading the country in total defense, allowing just over 210 yards per game. Louisville, the team ranked second, is allowing 244.5 yards per contest, by comparison. Critics questioned whether Michigan State's success was more a reflection of their level of competition to this point. Facing out of conference foes like Western Michigan, South Florida and Youngstown State hardly qualifies as elite challenges and the Spartans won't face Penn State, Wisconsin or Ohio State during the regular season. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

11/11/2013 - Top Prospect of Week 10: Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard: The showdown with Michigan and their gifted offense may have been the biggest test of the regular season for Dennard and the Spartans, making the matchup a must-see even for talent evaluators. While Dennard didn't line up opposite Wolverines' star wideout Jeremy Gallon as frequently as scouts may have hoped, the Thorpe Award semi-finalist certainly demonstrated his playmaking ability in this contest, including forcing a fumble of the Michigan wideout on one of the few plays in which they competed.

The Wolverines struggled to move the ball with any kind of consistency all game long. Gallon, who entered the game fresh off of setting a school and conference record with 369 receiving yards against Indiana, caught five passes but only once when facing Dennard. And, on that play, with the Wolverines down 16-6 in the closing minutes of the third quarter, Dennard made him pay. The pass was a risky one as Michigan State's captain was lined up in bump and run coverage. He hit Gallon just as the ball arrived and frankly, the Michigan wideout did a nice job just catching the pass. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

11/05/2013 - WEEK 10 CBSSPORTS.COM NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER(S) OF THE WEEK: Denicos Allen, Max Bullough, Shilique Calhoun, Darqueze Dennard and the entire Michigan State defense....Allen led the way with three sacks and nine total tackles, but the entire Spartans defense deserves a nod for their performance against Michigan. If you include yards lost in seven sacks, Michigan was held to -48 yards rushing and just 168 total yards for the game as Michigan State slowly pulled away from the Wolverines in the second half. Looking at the schedule ahead (Nebraska, Northwestern and Minnesota), it might be time to start talking about whether this dominant unit can slow down the league's best team in Indianapolis on Dec. 7. - CBSSports.com

10/07/2013 - WEEK 6 BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, Sr., CB, Dry Beach, Ga./Twiggs County...Finished with eight tackles and two interceptions, both career highs, in Michigan State's road win at Iowa...Recorded his first interception midway through the first quarter and his second at the 5:25 mark of the fourth quarter, helping the Spartans preserve the win.

Was part of the Michigan State defense that held the Hawkeyes to 264 total yards, 183 yards below their season average...Claims his first Defensive Player of the Week honor...Last Michigan State Defensive Player of the Week: Shilique Calhoun (Sept. 9, 2013). - Big Ten football

10/05/2013 - Connor Cook threw for a career-high 277 yards and two touchdowns and Michigan State opened Big Ten play with a 26-14 win over Iowa on Saturday. Darqueze Dennard had a pair of interceptions for the Spartans (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who held the Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1) scoreless in the second half. Cook put Michigan State ahead to stay with a 37-yard TD pass to Bennie Fowler early in the third quarter. Freshman Michael Geiger added three field goals in the second half for the Spartans, who held Iowa to 23 yards rushing. Mark Weisman ran for just nine yards on seven carries for the Hawkeyes, who lost for the first time since its season opener. Michigan State was again led by its standout defense. - AP Sports

08/30/2013 - Scouting the Michigan State pass defense: The Spartans were third in the conference in pass defense last season and return three of four starters. An improved pass rush should help the Spartans, especially in the opener, while Dennard might be one of the top corners in the country. Combined with plenty of talent at safety -- Isaiah Lewis, Kurtis Drummond and RJ Williamson included -- and Michigan State should pick up right where it left off last season. - The Sports Xchange

08/14/2013 - TOP MICHIGAN STATE PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 1. CB Darqueze Dennard (5-11, 188, 4.51)...With quick, fluid hips, Dennard routinely displays an ability to turn and run stride for stride vertically with speedy receivers, and exhibits strong burst out of cuts to mirror and crowd receivers who break in or out suddenly. When the ball is in the air, Dennard locates and tracks well, and then does a good job of setting his feet, timing his jump and adjusting his body to the throw in order to make a play.

There are certianly areas of his game that he could stand to improve, as at times when playing off, he'll be a bit too lax with his cushion and allow more space than he should, making it tough for him to arrive in time to make a play. He can get a bit sloppy as a tackler, resorting at times to leading with his shoulder and hitting high rather than wraping up. Dennard has a good shot at being one of the first five cornerbacks off the board next May if he's able to pick up where he left off last season. - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com

08/14/2013 - TOP MICHIGAN STATE PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 1. CB Darqueze Dennard (5-11, 188, 4.51)...A First-Team All-Big Ten selection by coaches in 2012, Dennard enters his third straight season as a starting cornerback for the Spartans, and is one of only 11 defensive backs nationally to be listed on the Bednarik, Nagurski and Thorpe Award Watch Lists after compiling 52 tackles, including 3.5 for losses, 7 pass break-ups and three interceptions as a junior. A lean, quick-twitch athlete with impressive physicality for his size, Dennard possesses the first-step explosiveness to bait and close on the football, but also demonstrates surprising strength and active hands to win the leverage battle at the line and redirect larger receivers with a strong jam. - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com

07/17/2013 - 2013 BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State...The 5-11, 188-pound Dennard was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and a second-team selection by the media in 2012. He tied for the team lead in interceptions (3), pass break-ups (7) and passes defended (10), and ranked sixth on the team with a career-high 52 tackles, including 3.5 for losses (5 yards).

In the regular-season finale at Minnesota, Dennard recorded an interception, a pass break-up and three tackles, including a 1-yard loss, as the Spartans defeated the Gophers to become bowl eligible for a school-record sixth consecutive season. The Dry Branch, Ga., product tied his career high in tackles with seven stops against Northwestern and tied his career high with two interceptions vs. No. 21 Nebraska; his 30-yard interception return against the Huskers in the third quarter set up MSU's third TD of the game. - Michigan State football

07/17/2013 - 2013 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, DB...Dennard was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and a second-team selection by the media in 2012. He tied for the team lead in interceptions (3), pass break-ups (7) and passes defended (10), and ranked sixth on the team with a career-high 52 tackles, including 3.5 for losses (5 yards). - Michigan State football

07/17/2013 - 2013 JIM THORPE AWARD WATCH LIST: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State...Dennard was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and a second-team selection by the media in 2012. He tied for the team lead in interceptions (3), pass break-ups (7) and passes defended (10), and ranked sixth on the team with a career-high 52 tackles, including 3.5 for losses (5 yards). - Michigan State football

 
Player News
05/12/2014 - A closer look at the Bengals' picks: Round 1/24 -- Darqueze Dennard, CB, 5-11, 199, Michigan State...The Bengals needed to get younger at corner and felt lucky Dennard slipped into their laps at 24. Most had him projected five to 10 picks earlier, but he fits perfectly into a man-press scheme. - The Sports Xchange
 

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