Dennard has seen early praise having been named to the Jim Thorpe, Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List heading into the season.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches in 2012, Dennard started all 13 games for the Spartans last season and posted some impressive numbers for the Spartans highly ranked defense including being tied for the team lead with three interceptions and passes defended with ten.
Dennard also posted 52 tackles (career high) and was the recipient of the team's Jim Adams Award for being the unsung hero on defense.
Presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy is considered one of the most prestigious defensive awards a player can win and was created to honor the most outstanding defensive college football player in America as voted on by the Football Writers Association of America.
The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club and semifinalist will be announced in late October with the three finalist being unveiled in late November.
The Jim Thorpe Award Watch List is not a final list as players who are having outstanding season can be added as the season progresses. The award is presented to the best defensive back in college football and presented during a formal banquet in Oklahoma City