Rookie third-round draft pick fits the size mold of recent Bengals DEs Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson, and he was successful both at DE and at DT during his West Virginia career ... Recorded first career tackle and fumble recovery in his second career game, on Nov. 16 at New Orleans ... Only player in WVU history to win three “Iron Mountaineer” awards for excellence in the weight room, and Bengals coaches believe he has the potential to play at 290 pounds early in his pro career, 20 pounds more than his college weight ... Raised his draft stock with a strong performance in Senior Bowl game and practices.
Career transactions: Selected by Cincinnati in third round of 2014 NFL Draft (88th overall) ... Signed with Bengals on 5-27-14.
2014 recap: Played in seven games (Games 3 and 10-15) ... Active-DNP for Game 16 ... Inactive (coaches’ decision) for Games 1-2 and 4-9 ... Had three tackles and a fumble recovery for the season ... Made NFL debut on Sept. 21 vs. Tennessee (no statistics) ... Had one tackle on Nov. 16 at New Orleans, and recovered fumble by RB Travaris Cadet at Bengals 33 in fourth quarter ... One tackle on Nov. 23 at Houston ... One tackle on Dec. 14 at Cleveland ... Played in all four preseason games and logged nine tackles, including one sack.
College highlights: Played four seasons (2010-13) at West Virginia, with a redshirt year in 2009 ... A starter in his last three seasons, he closed career with 41 games played and 34 starts ... Made 22 starts at DE before starting 12 at DT as senior ... Totaled 110 tackles, with 9.5 sacks and 28.5 tackles-for-loss, and had seven passes defensed. 2013—His first year as a DT saw him place third in Big 12 with his 17 tackles-for-loss ... Tied for sixth in conference with six sacks ... Rose above team’s 4-8 record to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors from league coaches and Associated Press. 2012—Earned Big 12 honorable mention honors at DE, totaling 26 tackles (1.5 sacks), 6.5 tackles-for-loss and three passes defensed. 2011—Started 11 games as sophomore for 10-3 team that closed season with Orange Bowl win over Clemson ... Totaled 34 tackles (two sacks), five tackles-for-loss and one pass defensed ... Sacked Tajh Boyd in Orange Bowl win. 2010—Played four games as freshman.
High school: Played TE and OLB at Taylor Allerdice High School in Pittsburgh ... Twice earned All-City honors on both offense and defense from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ... Also excelled in basketball, averaging 16.0 points per game for a 20-6 team as a senior.
Personal: Hometown is Pittsburgh, Pa. ... A criminology major at West Virginia, he was named to WVU’s Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Everyone saw it coming, but it still didn’t make it any easier Friday when the Bengals released one of their more versatile players and valued leaders across the defensive front and around the locker room in 11-year veteran Robert Geathers.
The kids keep pushing the vets more than ever. The Bengals aren't handing out a lot of scholarships. Vontaze Burfict is the Bengals' answer to Malcolm Butler.