"No Fly Zone"
As a three-year starter at cornerback for the Michigan State Spartans, Dennard totaled 167 tackles, 10 interceptions, 20 pass breakups, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 1.0 sack. The corner was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection (2012, 2013), a first-team AP All-American selection (2013) and recorded three-career multi-interception games (2013 vs. Iowa, 2012 vs. Nebraska, 2012 Outback Bowl vs. Georgia).
"Jim Thorpe Award"
At the 2013 ESPN College Football Awards, Dennard was named the "Jim Thorpe Award" winner, an award given annually to college football's top defensive back, recognizing their performance on the field, athletic ability and character.
At the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Dennard ran a 4.51 40-yard dash and notched 15 bench press reps. He was ranked second on NFL Analyst Bucky Brooks' Top-Five Cornerback Prospects list.
"When push comes to shove and he's got to make a play and he's got to be physical he does it," NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock said. "That's what separates him from most of the corners in this draft."
The Cincinnati Bengals went on to select Dennard with the 23rd-overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Throughout his eight-year career with the Bengals (2014-19), Atlanta Falcons (2020), New York Giants (2021) and 49ers (2021), he has appeared in 87 games (30 starts) and registered 288 tackles, 27 passes defensed, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He has also played in one postseason contest and added two tackles and one forced fumble.
In the 49ers Week 18 must-win contest against the Los Angeles Rams, the veteran cornerback was called up from the practice squad and made his 49ers debut at nickel corner. San Francisco went on to defeat the Rams, 27-24, and made their second playoff run in three seasons.