MEET: CB DARQUEZE DENNARD
April 13, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
• JIM THORPE AWARD WINNER (NATION'S BEST DEFENSIVE BACK)
CAREER NOTES:Four-year letterwinner was a three-year starter at cornerback . . . two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection (2012, 2013) . . . 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) . . . had three career multi-interception games (2013 vs. Iowa, 2012 vs. Nebraska, 2012 Outback Bowl vs. Georgia) . . . ranks tied for 11th in MSU history with 10 interceptions.
2013 SEASON (SENIOR):First Spartan to win the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's best defensive back . . . first Spartan cornerback to be named a unanimous first-team All-American (Walter Camp, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, ESPN.com, USA TODAY, CBSSports.com, Sporting News, Athlon Sports, Lindy's) . . . named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's best defensive player); first Spartan to be named a finalist for the award . . . named winner of the 2013 Jack Tatum Award, presented to college football's best defensive back by The Touchdown Club of Columbus . . . named the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year (named for Ohio State's Jack Tatum and Purdue's Rod Woodson) . . . unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches; also a first-team pick by the media . . . also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from ESPN.com, Sporting News, Phil Steele and Athlon Sports . . . ranked No. 3 defensive player in the FBS by CBSSports.com . . . named Big Ten Defensive MVP by ESPN.com and CollegeFootballNews.com . . . led team and ranked tied for sixth in the Big Ten with 14 passes defended (four interceptions, 10 pass break-ups) . . . led team in both interceptions (4) and pass break-ups (10) . . . tied for third in the Big Ten with four picks . . . ranked fourth on the team with a career-high 62 tackles, including 3.5 for loss (8 yards) . . . named to ESPN.com's Big Ten All-Bowl Team after helping the Spartan defense limit No. 5 Stanford to its third-lowest offensive output of the season in the 24-20 victory over the Cardinal in the 100th Rose Bowl Game; the Cardinal threw for just 143 yards, their second-lowest total of the season . . . produced three stops, including a 2-yard tackle for loss, against Stanford . . . had three tackles, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble to compile 21 production points in MSU's win over No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game . . . tied a career high with nine tackles and broke up a pass on Senior Day against Minnesota . . . recorded a career-best nine tackles and an interception in Michigan State's 30-6 victory at Northwestern, as the Spartans claimed the Big Ten Legends Division title for the second time in three seasons . . . had a productive all-around game in win over No. 23 Michigan, recording an interception, a forced fumble and four tackles . . . tallied seven stops, including a half tackle for loss, in win over Purdue . . . registered five tackles, a pass break-up and a QB hurry vs. Indiana . . . named Big Ten Player of the Week after tying his career high with two interceptions and recording eight tackles at Iowa . . . credited with two tackles, including a 1-yard loss, to go along with a QB hurry and a pass break-up at No. 22 Notre Dame; recorded a season-high 47 production points against the Irish, the most in a single game by a Spartan defensive player this season . . . posted five stops, including a half tackle for loss (2 yards), and had two pass break-ups vs. South Florida . . . tied his career high with three pass break-ups in the season opener against Western Michigan.
CAREER IN BOWL GAMES:Named to ESPN.com's Big Ten All-Bowl Team after helping the Spartan defense limit No. 5 Stanford to its third-lowest offensive output of the season in the 24-20 victory over the Cardinal in the 100th Rose Bowl Game; the Cardinal threw for just 143 yards, their second-lowest total of the season . . . produced three stops, including a 2-yard tackle for loss, against Stanford Collected three tackles in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory over TCU . . . tied a Spartan-bowl record with two interceptions in the win over No. 18 Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl; picked off an Aaron Murray pass midway through the third quarter, leading to MSU's first TD of the game, then returned an interception 38 yards for a score at the 1:47 mark in the third quarter that cut the Bulldog lead to 16-14 . . . also credited with four tackles against Georgia . . . named to the Yahoo! Sports All-Bowl Team for his performance against the Bulldogs (26 production points) . . . did not play in 2011 Capital One Bowl against Alabama.
2012 SEASON (JUNIOR):First-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and second-team choice by the media . . . also a first-team All-Big Ten pick by ESPN.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and Phil Steele . . . finished No. 19 in ESPN.com's final Big Ten player rankings . . . started all 13 games . . . tied for team lead with three interceptions . . . also tied for the team lead with 10 passes defended, which ranked tied for 19th in the Big Ten . . . tied for second on the team with seven pass break-ups . . . ranked sixth on the team with 52 tackles, including 3.5 for losses (5 yards) . . . recipient of the team's Jim Adams Award (unsung hero - defense) . . . collected three tackles in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory over TCU . . . recorded an interception, a pass break-up and three tackles, including a 1-yard loss, at Minnesota . . . had seven tackles, including a 1-yard loss, and broke up a pass vs. Northwestern . . . tied career high with two interceptions (46 yards) and also had four tackles vs. No. 21 Nebraska; his 30-yard interception return in the third quarter set up MSU's third TD of the game . . . posted four tackles, including a half tackle for loss, at No. 23 Michigan . . . had four stops and two pass break-ups vs. Iowa . . . collected four tackles against Eastern Michigan . . . posted six stops, including a 2-yard loss, vs. No. 20 Notre Dame . . . tallied five tackles at Central Michigan . . . recorded a career-high three pass break-ups and had five tackles in win over No. 24 Boise State.
2011 SEASON (SOPHOMORE):Honorable mention All-Big Ten selection (media) . . . recorded 42 tackles (30 solos, 12 assists) in 11 games of action . . . tied for third on the team with six passes defended (three interceptions, three pass break-ups) . . . tied a Spartan-bowl record with two interceptions in the win over No. 18 Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl; picked off an Aaron Murray pass midway through the third quarter, leading to MSU's first TD of the game, then returned an interception 38 yards for a score at the 1:47 mark in the third quarter that cut the Bulldog lead to 16-14 . . . also credited with four tackles against Georgia . . . named to the Yahoo! Sports All-Bowl Team for his performance against the Bulldogs (career-best 26 production points) . . . recorded a career-high seven tackles, including one for a 5-yard loss, in the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin . . . did not play the last two games of the regular season (vs. Indiana and Northwestern) due to injury . . . recorded one tackle at Iowa in limited action due to injury . . . sat out the Minnesota game with an injury . . . posted six stops at No. 13 Nebraska . . . had six tackles in the victory over No. 4 Wisconsin; also blocked a field goal in the second quarter . . . had two tackles and a pass break-up in the win over Michigan . . . recorded his first career interception on an acrobatic catch in the second quarter at Ohio State; also had four tackles against the Buckeyes . . . had two tackles and a pass break-up at Notre Dame . . . tallied six tackles and 21 production points in the season opener against Youngstown State.
2010 SEASON (FRESHMAN):True freshman appeared in six games, including two starts at cornerback (vs. Illinois and Northwestern) . . . did not play the last five games of the season (knee injury) . . . produced 11 tackles (8 solos, 3 assists), including 2.0 for losses (4 yards) . . . moved into the starting lineup while Chris L. Rucker served a two-game suspension . . . recorded four solo stops, including a 2-yard sack, at Northwestern . . . earned his first career start vs. Illinois and responded by posting a season-best five tackles, including one for a 2-yard loss . . . also forced and recovered a fumble in the third quarter against the Illini, as he chased down A.J. Jenkins after a 39-yard reception and stripped the ball out at the MSU 20 to preserve a 13-6 lead.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA:Participated in the 2009 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Game in Columbus, Ga., and scored on a 48-yard reception in the third quarter . . . four-year starter for Coach Dexter Copeland at Twiggs County High School in Jeffersonville, Ga. . . . two-time Associated Press All-State selection at wide receiver . . . named to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-State Team as a defensive back in 2009 . . . Georgia Sports Writers Association honorable mention All-State pick at defensive back as a senior . . . All-Middle Georgia selection as a kick returner in 2009 . . . had 40 catches for 502 yards (12.6 avg.) and 11 touchdowns as a senior while helping the 11-2 Cobras advance to the state quarterfinals . . . recorded 50 tackles and nine interceptions in 2009, returning two for TDs . . . also averaged 27.2 yards on punt returns, including two scores . . . named to the Preseason 2009 Class A Super 11 Team as compiled by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia High School Football Daily . . . earned Atlanta Journal-Constitution and GSWA All-State honors as a wide receiver in 2008 . . . led Middle Georgia in receptions (61), receiving yards (923) and TD catches (17) as a junior . . . had a career-best 18 catches for 255 yards vs. Wilkinson County . . . caught seven passes for 118 yards vs. Wilcox County . . . also lettered in basketball and track and field . . . son of Lisa Curry . . . born Oct. 10, 1991 . . . majoring in communication.
DENNARD'S CAREER HIGHS