- Erin Kirkland/Daily
By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published October 31, 2013
On a defense full of NFL talent, Darqueze Dennard might have the highest draft stock. He’s been named a second-team Midseason All-American by CBSSports.com, and will likely be the primary back in charge of shutting down Michigan fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon.
Dennard has followed a familiar Spartan pattern: he wasn’t highly regarded out of Georgia in high school. Most services gave him two stars. But Michigan State plucked him from obscurity, and he has rewarded the Spartans handsomely.
The Michigan Daily sat down with Dennard at Big Ten Media Days to talk about his experience and the rivalry with Michigan.
The Michigan Daily: You weren’t heavily recruited out of high school, and Michigan State didn’t start recruiting you until late in the process. When did they contact you?
Darqueze Dennard: They contacted me November, November-December. We talked throughout November and December, and I went up in January for my visit and I fell in love
TMD: You join a list of Spartans, like B.J. Cunningham and Kirk Cousins, who didn’t get many recruiting stars in high school but became all-Big Ten players. What sort of pride do you take in that?
DD: Talking about, joking around with it with B.J. and Kirk. Also Le’Veon (Bell). We all take pride in it. We all came in, we all said the stars doesn’t matter, we’re all here at the same platform, let’s perform.
TMD: You’ve got a chance to go 3-1 in your career against Michigan. What would it mean to win the series?
DD: It would be great, leaving out on top with the Paul Bunyan Trophy, taking pictures with it of course. It would be a great feeling to have beat Michigan my senior year and going out on top.
TMD: The week building up to that game, what is it like on campus?
DD: It’s crazy. It’s indescribable. Everybody’s ready for the game, and everybody keeps telling you ‘Come on, let’s go. You know what we gotta do.’ You get Tweets, you get phone calls from friends back home and people who play in the league or who are graduated and go home, telling us we gotta represent. And it’s a very fun experience.”
TMD: What’s the nastiest thing a Michigan player has said to you on the field?
DD: I don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff that’s been said on the field. I don’t remember.