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Geno Atkins

Geno Atkins
Atkins before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013.
No. 97     Cincinnati Bengals
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: March 28, 1988 (age 26)
Place of birthPembroke Pines, Florida
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)Weight: 303 lb (137 kg)
Career information
High schoolFort Lauderdale (FL) Aquinas
NFL Draft2010 / Round: 4 / Pick: 120
Debuted in 2010 for the Cincinnati Bengals
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2014
Quarterback sacks31.0
Forced fumbles7
Stats at
Gene Renard Atkins Jr. (born March 28, 1988) is an American football defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Georgia. He was drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Early years

Atkins was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida on March 28, 1988. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale helped the school be the Class 5A runner-ups in both 2004 and 2005. As a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas in 2004, Atkins had 70 tackles (12 resulted in lost yardage), one interception, and four fumble recoveries. In 2005, during his senior season, he had 117 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Following the season, he was named first-team all-county by the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald, first-team Class 5A in the state of Florida and was also named Florida Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year. Coming out of high school he was rated as the 24th best defensive end in the nation and 41st best by[1]
In track & field, Atkins was one of the state's top performers in the throwing events. In the discus, he got a PR of 48.35 meters at the 2006 FHSAA 3A Region 4, placing 2nd in the finals.[2] At the 2006 FHSAA 3A-4A Outdoor State Finals, he tied for 1st place in the shot put event, recording a top-throw of 18.01 meters.[3]

College career

Atkins enrolled in the University of Georgia, where he played for coach Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs football team from 2007 to 2009. He played as a true freshman, recording nine tackles and 0.5 sacks in 11 games.[1]
In 2007, Atkins saw significant playing time as a backup behind Kade Weston and Jeff Owens.[4][5] On September 21, Owens said of Atkins's impact, "Geno is doing a heck of a job. He's contributing a lot to the defense. He's leading the defensive line in tackles for loss and I think we're tied in tackles."[6] As of September 29, despite being a backup, Atkins was fourth in theSoutheastern Conference (SEC) with six tackles for losses along with a sack.[7] On October 6, Atkins was named the starter over Weston[8] and in only his second game led the team in tackles against Vanderbilt.[9] He became the first defensive tackle to lead the team in tackles in a game since Jason Ferguson did it in 1995 and the first defensive lineman since David Pollackin 2003.[10] Following a game against Kentucky in which he had five tackles, he was named SEC defensive player of the week for the week of November 17.[1][11] Following, his sophomore season Atkins was named First-team All-SEC, and was the only player for Georgia other than running back Knowshon Moreno to be named to the team.[12] During the press conference for Hawaii's quarterback Colt Brennan before the Sugar Bowl, Atkins asked for an autograph and took a photo with Brennan. Fellow Georgia defensive lineman Marcus Howard said of Atkins' antics during the press conference, "He was like acting like a groupie. All of us gave him grief for that."[13] Despite getting Brennan's autograph before the game, Atkins sacked him in the fourth quarter, forcing him out of the game.[14]
Two games into the 2008 season, Atkins already had eight tackles and nine quarterback hurries.[15] After the defense as a whole sacked Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow ofFlorida six times, Atkins said, "I think we rattled Tim Tebow and the offense. We wanted to pressure him. No one really works that well under pressure, not even the greatest quarterbacks. You put a little pressure on them, they're bound to flinch."[16] On November 14 against Auburn, Atkins came in on offense and was the lead blocker for Matthew Stafford on a quarterback sneak.[17] In the Capital One Bowl on January 2, 2009, against Michigan State, Atkins had one tackle and two quarterback hurries.[18]
In 2009, Atkins was listed at No. 5 on′s preseason defensive tackle power ranking.[19] He was also named to the 2009 Outland Trophy watch list.[20] In his three years after his freshman season, Atkins racked up 33 sacks, including 15 as a sophomore and 10.5 as a senior.[21]

Professional career

2010 NFL Combine

Pre-draft measurables
HtWt40-yd dash10-yd split20-yd split20-ss3-coneVertBroadBP
6 ft 1⅜ in293 lb4.75 s1.64 s2.68 s4.43 s7.33 s33 in9 ft 9 in34 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Cincinnati Bengals

Atkins was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round (120th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft.
In his second season, Atkins became a full-time starter and led the team in sacks with 7.5, assisting the team to a 9-7 record and a playoff appearance. In the 2011 season he was tied for amount of sacks for a defensive tackle with Oakland's Tommy Kelly. Atkins was named to his first Pro Bowl in his second season as a starter after Vince Wilforkwithdrew to participate in the Super Bowl.
In 2012, Atkins recorded 53 tackles, forced 4 fumbles, set a franchise record with 12.5 sacks, and was selected at a starter in the pro bowl as the Bengals made the playoffs for the second consecutive year. After an outstanding 2012, Geno Atkins is now regarded as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
On September 2, 2013, Atkins agreed to a five-year, $55 million extension with the Bengals.[22] On October 31, 2013, Atkins tore his ACL in a game against the Miami Dolphins, and missed the rest of the season.[23]


During his freshman year at the University of Georgia, Atkins learned he suffers from Sickle cell trait.[24] He is also the son of former New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphinssafety Gene Atkins.[25]