On his list of the 25 best players in college football, Matt Hayes of Sporting News Today places three Florida Gators (you-know-who is No. 1), three Oklahoma Sooners, two Oklahoma State Cowboys and a Yellow Jacket (Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer is 13th) — but no Bulldogs. And I know what you’re saying. “Where’s A.J. Green?”
Well, the dauntless Georgia receiver missed the cut. (Alabama’s Julio Jones made it, though. He’s No. 15.) Green isn’t even included in Hayes’ 10-man batch of honorable mentions. And that shouldn’t bother anybody. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, et cetera …
But — you knew a “but” was coming, didn’t you? — I have a hard time believing there are 25 (or 35) better players than one particular Bulldog. And I don’t mean A.J. Green, though he’s really good, too.
I mean Rennie Curran.
He’s a little bitty linebacker — OK, so he’s listed as 5-foot-11 — who doesn’t look like much until he starts making every tackle, and then you start thinking, “How is this little bitty guy making every tackle?”
Even Georgia’s coaches aren’t sure. They resisted starting him as a freshman in 2007 because he was a freshman and didn’t know the nuances of Willie Martinez’s (cough, cough) Extremely Sophisticated Scheme, but finally they broke down and, lo and behold, he started making every tackle.
Last year Mark Richt sought to explain what makes Rennie Curran great and wound up talking about technique. When a linebacker is pursuing, Richt said, he’s supposed to take on a blocker with a certain shoulder, but Georgia waived that clause for Curran. Richt: “We just said, ‘Go make the tackle.’ ”
And he does. I don’t know what kind of future, if any, Curran has because the NFL isn’t crazy about little bitty linebackers (LBLBs), but all I know is that at the collegiate level he’s a player.
Were I an accomplished nicknamer like Dan Magill, I’d dub Curran the Mighty Mite. But I’m not, so I won’t. I’ll just leave it at this: Pound for pound and inch for inch, this LBLB is as good as there is in these United States.