Coming out of Michigan State where he was a key part of the resurgence of the Spartans football program under Mark Dantonio, Darqueze Dennard was to become a high-level player in the NFL for several years.

The former Jim Thorpe Award winner would be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2014 NFL Draft with the 24th overall pick of the 1st round.

After signing a four-year, $7.97 million contract, Dennard found a crowded secondary followed by injuries that slowed him from showing the skills he showed in college.

Dennard Spoke at Camp in Cincinnati

In the final year of his contract, Dennard enjoyed his best season playing in all 16 games and posting 84 total tackles (60 solo) with two sacks, two interceptions, and six passes defensed.

With the Bengals picking up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract for the 2018 season, Dennard would miss three games due to injury. Still, he posted the second-best season of his career with 65 total tackles (51 solo) and six passes defensed.

An unrestricted free agent after the season, Dennard reportedly had the Kansas City Chiefs and at least one more team interested in signing him. Instead, the Bengals and Dennard look to have agreed to a one-year deal expected to be signed at the start of next week.

Known for being one of the more physical corners in the game, Dennard will look to have a big season and parlay it into a long-term deal.

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Dave Berk

Team publisher and recruiting analyst for Scout.com from 2002-2017. Founded Dave Berk Consulting (DaveBerkConsulting.com), a football recruiting consulting company focused on helping families through the recruiting process in 2016. Founded First Star Football Report in fall of 2018. Has appeared on national, regional and local television and radio including NFL Network, FOX Sports Radio, Sporting News Radio, 700 WLW, 980 WONE, WCPO CH9 and more. Provided recruiting analysis for FOX Sports Ohio weekly high school game of the week in Southwest Ohio area and was an analyst for the Time Warner Sports (Spectrum Sports) Ohio National Signing Day show.

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