It was great news for the Spartan star earlier this week when he was inked to a 4 year deal with a Bengals option for the fifth year.Â Multiple reports had the deal at nearly $8 million dollars.Â He is the Bengals press release sent to Spartan Nation via MSU SID John Lewandowksi:
The Bengals signed CB Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State, their first-round selection (24th overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft.
All eight Bengals selections in the draft are now signed.
â€œOf course itâ€™s great to have all this done well before we come back for training camp,â€ said head coach Marvin Lewis. â€œAs for Darqueze, heâ€™s been everything we hoped he would be to this point. Heâ€™s a great talent. He played in a big-time pressure defense at Michigan State and heâ€™s not afraid to be out there (in coverage) by himself. And as we knew he would, he conducts himself every day as a mature pro who wants to get better every day.â€
Dennard (first name pronounced â€œdar-KWEZâ€) was a USA Today first-team All-American last season for a 13-1 team that was unbeaten in the Big Ten and ranked No. 3 nationally after a Rose Bowl win over Stanford. He helped lead the Spartan defense to No. 1 national rankings in fewest yards allowed per game (248.2) and lowest third-down conversion percentage (27.7).
Also last season, Dennard was the winner of the Thorpe Award, given annually to college footballâ€™s top defensive back.
Asked whether Dennard is considered a possible first-year starter, defensive backs coach Vance Joseph said:
â€œStarting a rookie at corner, it depends on the person. Darqueze is a very mature person. Heâ€™s an achiever also. From high school to college, heâ€™s been a winner. His personality, his skill set, I would feel fine starting him. But heâ€™s got to earn it. Weâ€™ve got Leon Hall here. Weâ€™ve got Terence Newman. Weâ€™ve got Adam Jones. Weâ€™ve got Dre Kirkpatrick. Heâ€™s got to earn it.â€