Darqueze Dennard

Darqueze Dennard
No. 21Cincinnati Bengals
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-10-10) October 10, 1991
Place of birth: Dry Branch, Georgia
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 197 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school: Jeffersonville (GA) Twiggs County
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 9, 2016
Total tackles: 52
Interceptions: 1
Pass deflections: 5
Forced fumbles: 0
Sacks: 1.0
Player stats at NFL.com

Darqueze Derrell Dennard (born October 10, 1991) is an American football cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Bengals in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Michigan State. Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2013 as the best defensive back in college football.[1][2]

He is commonly referred to as "No-Fly Zone."[3]

Early years

Dennard attended Twiggs County High School in Jeffersonville, Georgia, where he was a letterman in football, basketball and track. In high school football, he played defensive back and wide receiver. As a senior, he had 40 receptions for 502 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense and 50 tackles and nine interceptions with two touchdowns on defense.

In track & field, Dennard competed as a sprinter. He was the runner-up in the 100-meter dash at the 2010 GHSA 1A State Championships, where he took silver recording a personal-best time of 10.72 seconds.[4]

Considered a two-star recruit by ESPN.com, Dennard was listed as the No. 166 wide receiver in the nation in 2010.[5]

College career

Dennard accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Michigan State University, where he played for coach Mark Dantonio's Michigan State Spartans football team from 2010 to 2013.

As a true freshman in 2010, Dennard played in six games with two starts, missing five games due to injury. As a sophomore in 2011, he played in 11 games, missing two due to injury, he finished the season with 42 tackles and three interceptions, two which came against Georgia in the Outback Bowl. As a junior in 2012, he started all 13 games, recording 52 tackles and three interceptions. He was a first team All-Big Ten selection.[6] As a senior in 2013, he recorded 62 tackles and four interceptions, he won the Jim Thorpe Award.[7][8]

Professional career

2014 NFL Draft

Projected a first-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, Dennard looked to become the highest Michigan State defensive back selected in an NFL Draft since Herb Adderley in 1961.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 11 in 199 lb30 14 in9 in 4.51 s 15 reps
All values from NFL Combine[9]

Cincinnati Bengals

Dennard was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the 24th pick of the first round.[10] He signed a four-year, $8 million contract with $6.5 million guaranteed with the Bengals on June 12, 2014.[11][12]

Dennard saw limited playing time in his rookie season, participating in just 41 snaps. His most notable achievement was forcing a fumble in a playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts that set up a Bengals field goal.

In week 6 of the 2015 season, Dennard recorded his first career interception in a win against the Buffalo Bills.

On November 27, 2015, he was placed on injured reserve.

Personal life

Dennard's last name is pronounced as de-NARD. This pronunciation differs from that of his second cousin, Alfonzo Dennard due to a family dispute. Alfonzo, who is also a cornerback in the NFL, pronounces his last name DENN-erd.[13][14]


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