By Pete Thamel
December 30, 2013
Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard won the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.
Mike Carter/USA Today Sports

Instead, he's on track to become his family's first college graduate this spring. His career path has diverted from the chalk dust on his grandfather's boots to the chalk lines of the NFL, a world away from the lone blinking caution light in Dry Branch.

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