He was born on May 14, 1991 in Newark, NJ and attended Hillside (NJ) High. He enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia for a year before going onto Syracuse. As a freshman, he started 13 games at strongside linebacker and finished with 51 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 1 pass breakup. As a sophomore, he moved to middle linebacker where he started 11 of 12 games. He finished with 62 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 pass breakups and a forced fumble, on his way to earn 2nd team All-Big East honors. He moved back to strongside linebacker as a junior, starting 12 of 13 games. He finished with 64 tackles, 9 for loss, 2 sacks and a pass breakup. He moved back to the middle as a senior, starting all 13 games. He finished year with 66 tackles, 14.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks and 1 fumble recovery. He earned All-ACC honorable mention as a senior as well. He was selected by Atlanta Falcons in fifth round (168th overall) of 2014 NFL Draft.
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Signed by Atlanta Falcons on May 19, 2014.
Signed a four-year deal worth $2,391,480 including a $171,480 signing bonus. His base salaries are: $420,000 (2014); $510,000 (2015); $600,000 (2016); and $690,000 (2017). His cap hits: $462,870 (2014); $552,870 (2015); $642,870 (2016); and $732,870 (2017).