Geno Atkins

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Geno Atkins
refer to caption
Atkins with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015
No. 97 – Cincinnati Bengals
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-03-28) March 28, 1988 (age 29)
Place of birth: Pembroke Pines, Florida
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 300 lb (136 kg)
Career information
High school: Fort Lauderdale (FL) Aquinas
College: Georgia
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 4 / Pick: 120
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2017
Total tackles: 256
Sacks: 55.0
Pass deflections: 6
Forced fumbles: 8
Fumble recoveries: 2
Defensive touchdowns: 1
Player 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 at Georgia, and was drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Atkins was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida on March 28, 1988. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale and helped his high school football team to be the Class 5A runners-up 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 by 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[edit]

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 the Southeastern 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 so in 1995 and the first defensive lineman since David Pollack in 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's 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 of Florida 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[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 1 38 in
(1.86 m)
293 lb
(133 kg)
4.75 s 1.64 s 2.68 s 4.43 s 7.33 s 33 in
(0.84 m)
9 ft 9 in
(2.97 m)
34 reps
All values from NFL Combine
Atkins at Bengals training camp in 2014.

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 number 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 Wilfork withdrew to participate in the Super Bowl.

In 2012, Atkins recorded 53 tackles, forced four 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, Atkins was 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]

From 2014 to 2016, Atkins started all 16 games each season earning three straight Pro Bowls. He was named First-team All Pro in 2015 and was ranked 29th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Atkins married his college sweetheart, Kristen Merritt, on June 25, 2016 at the St. Regis hotel in Buckhead, Georgia.[25][26]

During his freshman year at the University of Georgia, Atkins learned he suffers from Sickle cell trait.[27]

Geno is the son of former New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins safety Gene Atkins.[28]


  1. ^ a b c "#56 Geno Atkins". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2009-08-09. [dead link]
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Georgia keeping all five DTs fresh". Associated Press. Sporting News. September 13, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  5. ^ Weiszer, Marc (September 27, 2007). "UGA Football: Changing of the guard". Online Athens. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  6. ^ Butt, Jason (September 21, 2007). "Unheralded Atkins contributes to Georgia defense". Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  7. ^ "Georgia notes". Online Athens. September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  8. ^ "Game breakdown: Who has the edge?". Online Athens. October 6, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  9. ^ Kendall, Josh (October 14, 2007). "Bulldogs escape with win, look for turnaround". Macon Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  10. ^ Weiszer, Marc (October 26, 2007). "Atkins still coming out of his shell". Online Athens. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  11. ^ "Curran and Atkins earn honors". November 19, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  12. ^ "Tebow, Dorsey players of year on AP All-SEC team". Associated Press. Sporting News. December 5, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  13. ^ Weiszer, Marc (December 29, 2007). "Atkins acts like a 'groupie' around Hawaii's Brennan". Online Athens. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  14. ^ "Clarkson: Georgia brings Hawaii's great season to ugly end". Online Athens. January 3, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  15. ^ "Bulldogs open SEC play in Columbia against Gamecocks". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 10, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-10. [dead link]
  16. ^ "SEC stars Tebow, Moreno key Florida, Georgia". Associated Press. October 29, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  17. ^ Butt, Jason (November 14, 2008). "Missed extra point a deciding factor". Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  18. ^ Bernstein, Charlie (January 2, 2009). "Talent on Display in Orlando". Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  19. ^ Buchanan, Olin; Dienhart, Tom; Fox, David; Huguenin, Mike & Megargee, Steve (August 24, 2009). "Preseason defensive tackle power rankings". Archived from the original on 2009-08-27. 
  20. ^ Richardson, Steve (August 11, 2009). "2009 Outland Trophy Watch List Announced". Football Writers Association of America. 
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  22. ^ Patra, Kevin (September 2, 2013). "Geno Atkins, Bengals sign five-year contract extension". Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  23. ^ "Season over for Geno Atkins". ESPN. November 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 - No. 29 Geno Atkins
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  28. ^

External links[edit]