Darqueze Dennard's journey from rural Georgia to the Rose Bowl

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Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard won the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard won the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.

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.