He was born on September 27, 1987 and attended Douglas High in Atlanta, GA. As a redshirt freshman, he started 5 of 13 total games at strongside linebacker and recorded 36 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 fumble recovery. He manned the same position during his sophomore season, started 10 of 13 games and recording 46 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups. He moved to middle linebacker as a junior, missing much of the early part of the season with a hamstring injury. But he still managed 8 appearances and 4 starts. He finished the year with 32 tackles, 2.5 for loss, and 0.5 sacks. He moved to inside linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 set as a senior, starting all 13 games there. He led the team with 126 tackles, 6.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 recoveries. He went on to earn 2nd team All-SEC honors that year. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round (91st overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Signed by Falcons on July 28, 2011.
Signed to a four-year deal worth $2.76 million, including a $543,000 signing bonus.