The Cincinnati Bengals signed cornerback Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State, their first-round selection, the team announced Thursday.
Dennard, the 24th overall pick, was a first-team All-American last season for a 13-1 team that was unbeaten in the Big Ten and ranked No. 3 nationally after a Rose Bowl win over Stanford. He helped lead the Spartans defense to No. 1 national rankings in fewest yards allowed per game (248.2) and lowest third-down conversion percentage (27.7).
Dennard was the winner of the Thorpe Award in 2013, which is given annually to college football's top defensive back.
All eight Bengals selections in the draft are now signed.
"Of course it's great to have all this done well before we come back for training camp," coach Marvin Lewis said. "As for Darqueze, he's been everything we hoped he would be to this point. He's a great talent. He played in a big-time pressure defense at Michigan State and he's not afraid to be out there (in coverage) by himself. And as we knew he would, he conducts himself every day as a mature pro who wants to get better every day."