Since 1991, the Touchdown Club of Columbus has given out the Jack Tatum Award for the nation’s top defensive back. The award is named in honor of former Ohio State Buckeye and Oakland Raider, Jack Tatum. This year, Michigan State’s cornerback Darqueze Dennard has been named as the winner after an impressive season which helped his team earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Dennard is effective in coverage, but he plays a physical brand of football where he is an active run defender and can beat up opposing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. In many ways, Dennard is the embodiment of what head coach Mark Dantonio wants from his defense and has been working to establish since he arrived in East Lansing.
Dennard had 33 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, 10 pass deflections and 2 forced fumbles this season for the Spartans. Not only is Dennard preparing to go to the Rose Bowl to play against Stanford, but he has also accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl as he gets ready to move onto the NFL.
Congratulations to Dennard on the award.