A few short words about Rennie Curran, little bitty Bulldog

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?”

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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.

79 comments Add your comment

Greg B

June 18th, 2009
6:56 am

Well said, Mark. But I don’t think I’d go so far as to call Rennie, “Little Bitty”…. I’m afraid you’ve tagged him with a nickname right there…. LOL

Brad in Jasper

June 18th, 2009
7:00 am

It’s alright to be little bitty

Robert

June 18th, 2009
7:20 am

Best line I ever saw about Mr. Curran, paraphrased: “He came all the way from Liberia just to hit you.”

[...] In the AJC, Mark Bradley’s blog gives a few short words about tiny Bulldog Rennie Curran. [...]

TommyP

June 18th, 2009
7:24 am

He’s short for the position. Nothing about him little.

Lizdawg

June 18th, 2009
7:53 am

Just think how good he’d be if he were normal size. I call him soupcan

Mark Bradley

June 18th, 2009
7:56 am

You’re right. He’s not little bitty for a human being. Just for an SEC linebacker.

I believe it was Joe Morgan who once said, “I’m not small. I’m short.”

JB

June 18th, 2009
7:57 am

I have a feeling our defense will be a lot better this year baring those damn injuries. They read. They’re pissed. I hope Willie is pissed. Nobody has anything to say good about them. I say watch out. With Washington and Owens back and a chip on their shoulder, I say we surprise on D !!!!!!!!! Curran will be a monster with the above two players back

athensdawg

June 18th, 2009
7:57 am

I’m still chuckling at Willie’s “sophisticated” defense…….and unfortunately may still be chuckling through the end of this season.

Gen Neyland

June 18th, 2009
8:17 am

…and at #8, the envelope, please…

BugKiller

June 18th, 2009
8:18 am

Matt Hayes IS a Gator.

So no surprise he overlooks Curran and Green.

And why is that everyone thinks Jones is better than Green, Mark?

Wasn’t it Green who LED the SEC in receiving last year… as a FRESHMAN???

Why do people doubt Green?

Curran is the guy no one knows until we play them and he finishes that game with 15 tackles, 3 for a loss.

Still, that’s not gonna help us against Okie State, Florida, LSU for three for sure losses, not to mention scary games against the Lamecocks, ASU, and even Kentucky.

Yep… thanks to Willie Martinez’s incompetence, games against Bradley’s Alma Mater are now scary.
http://img.coxnewsweb.com/C/06/98/03/image_7503986.gif
THANKS WILLIE!!!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

June 18th, 2009
8:19 am

MB, you are correct sir. UGA is not a media darling but Curren is top 10. Reminds me of a guy named Tuggle. I think he played a year or two in the NFL.

Deployed Dawg

June 18th, 2009
8:19 am

I still don’t understand why people are always placing Julio Jones above AJ Green. Green had more yards, more yards per catch, and twice as many touchdowns. Jones had 2 more catches. I am not saying that Jones is not good, but what is the justification for him being better? As an aside, where is ST Simmons’ post? I know he doesn’t have anything better to do than posting his “45-42 HAHAHAHA’ post on every Bulldog site. Reminds me of my buddy’s mentally impaired brother who was always antagonizing people.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

June 18th, 2009
8:20 am

Little Man, Big Poot

Eastside Jacket

June 18th, 2009
8:28 am

As a Jacket fan I gotta say Curran is a heckuva player, I don’t care what size he is. Seems like he’s always around the ball and brings the lumber with him too.

UGA_2001

June 18th, 2009
8:45 am

No one off of last year’s defense should be considered a great player.

And I am glad Hayes left all UGA players off the list. We tend to get big heads with the slightest bit of praise.

DR

June 18th, 2009
8:55 am

Curran is the man!!

slimpickens

June 18th, 2009
8:56 am

Fire Mark Bradley!

William

June 18th, 2009
9:07 am

Jones and Green are tit for tat as far as ability. However, even though I am a lifelong UGA fan I will admit this. Last year when Green lined up anywhere (Split End or Slot), defenses had to worry about Mo Mass. Massoqui had as good a Sr. season as possible and he was a legitimate threat and compliment to Green. Name Julio Jones’ complimentary receiver???

KC

June 18th, 2009
9:10 am

Another Jacket here. Rennie Curran is a beast. Size will likely make his NFL road harder, but he’ll get a shot and play 10+ years also. Probably will never get the respect he’s due, but he’ll be valuable to his team.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 18th, 2009
9:11 am

Was he the guy that couldn’t knock Roddy Jones out of bounds?

Ryan

June 18th, 2009
9:17 am

Curran is by far UGA’s best defensive player. Mark he will play on sundays. He reminds me a lot of Jon Vilma from Miami. This coming from a gator fan. Rennie is legit.

PMC

June 18th, 2009
9:20 am

Jeff Owens should be drafted somewhere in the first round, he’s one of the best interior DT’s in the country and could probably play the nose in a 3-4 as well.

Curran is a excellent linebacker and is likely the best tackler on the team. He could have used quite a bit of help last season from the rest of the linebacking crew. He was a lot more effective the year before with a healthy Jeff Owens in front of him.

As far as ratings who knows? There are so many good linebackers in College Football. Brandon Spikes is tremendous. Rolando McClain… etc.

[...] In the AJC, Mark Bradley’s blog gives a few short words about tiny Bulldog Rennie Curran. [...]

Robert

June 18th, 2009
9:21 am

People also like to give the tired explanation of “AJ had a future #1 pick throwing to him while Julio had JPW (6th or 7th round???). Imagine what Julio would have done with Stafford, blah,blah, blah” I take AJ any day.

Robert

June 18th, 2009
9:22 am

And yeah, Rennie is the man.

Sanford Drive

June 18th, 2009
9:28 am

This guy’s list is a little ridiculous anyway. I don’t put a lot of stock in some guy who puts Taylor Mays ahead of Eric Berry.

TW

June 18th, 2009
9:31 am

Cannot imagine how great Rennie would be if he continued to have good coaching at the college level. Hopefully, he rememberS enough from HS to continue to get the job done. However, it’s been a long time since we’ve had solid veteran leadership at LB – points straight at development, or lack thereof…

BugKiller – I feel your pain, man. There’s nothing worse in football than knowing you ain’t gonna stop it when the bad guys hand it off. Football 101 – STOP THE RUN! WE ARE THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA AND FOR THE LAST FOUR SEASONS WE HAVE MADE HEISMAN CANDIDATES OUT OF OPPONENETS’ RUNNING BACKS! UNNACCEPTABLE!

Caleb

June 18th, 2009
9:39 am

I’m agree with Bank Walker. Wasn’t Jessie “The Hammer” Tuggle about the same height? He may be a little shorter than the norm, but he sure can play some football.

mobetta

June 18th, 2009
9:45 am

He is going to be a great late round pickup in the NFL, can get him cheap and he has heart; nice article MB. Oh yeah and he is a Brookwood High School alum, go Broncos!!!

Otto

June 18th, 2009
9:47 am

I’m not concerned with Curran’s size. Pollack wasn’t exactly big for DE and he is one of the best UGA turned out.

Further I’m one UGA fan glad to see this team getting no respect. UGA usually performs better when the press isn’t hyping them.

TW 4 seasons? The ‘07 defense didn’t have many complaints. If you watched the Florida and Hawaii games you would they were darn good.

Mark

June 18th, 2009
9:52 am

I think guys like Zach Thomas shattered any conceptions about undersized linebackers in the NFL. If you great speed, can hit, cover and make a tackle, you can play in the NFL. Rennie can do all those things. One thing they said about Zach Thomas that will be true for Curran is that his size allowed him to hide behind the line of scrimage which made him hard to pick up for blockers. I think Rennie will do just fine in the NFL.

Cuz

June 18th, 2009
9:52 am

Just more locker room fodder for the disrespect board.

Cuz

June 18th, 2009
9:55 am

Does this make Curran a Bull Terrier?

Supes

June 18th, 2009
10:01 am

Nice to see some Jacket Fans (outside of the moronic RAMBLE ON!!!) post some good comments about Rennie Curran.

Hey, is Bob Sanders undersized in the NFL? Ask the Colts about how valuable he is to their defense. Lawyer Malloy was never the biggest SS either and he made some plays. Curran reminds me a lot of the hard hitting and play making Denver Broncos SS/LB Steve Atwater who would light you up. Listed at SS but played with the fierce competitive spirit and ability of an inside LB.

Rennie will do just fine in the NFL in the right system.

Wouldn’t mind if he wore an Atlanta Falcons jersey one day:)

TW

June 18th, 2009
10:11 am

Otto – Hawaii stunk – we should have had a better opponet – nobody on Hawaii’s team that year could have played at UGA.

I’ve seen Vandy run all over us and Ky put points on the board at will.

Yeah, we got up for a Fla game – Dogs always do. But great teams smash bad team, and we don’t.

Did you watch the GT game last year? See, that bothers me, Otto. The Alabama game, in our back yard? Wasn’t the Fla score 49 – 10? Didn’t we give up 40pts THREE times last year?

But I guess most agree with you that our defense is ‘darn good,’ as CMR never does anything about it. I’m just saying, Ala, Fla, Aub, Tenn, LSU would not have put up with having this ‘darn good ‘ defense – they’d have pulled the plug years ago.

TheItaliandawg

June 18th, 2009
10:23 am

every rule has exceptions, am sure y’all know Darren Sproles (Running back of the Chargers), he is considered a dwarf based on NFL RBs size, he went undrafted because of his size but the kid can run and he ran all over Oklahoma, now he is considered more valuable to the Chargers than LT. I think many NFL teams will look to the player heart before the body and very optimistic Curran will be drafted high

how2fish

June 18th, 2009
10:23 am

I think Curran led Gwinnett Co in tackles 2 or 3 years running and he was real close to doing that in the SEC last year..he was a beast in HS…he is a beast in the SEC…if he can stay healthy he will be a beast on Sundays..my brother was one of his HS coaches and he can’t say enough good things about him as a player and as a person..

Mark Bradley

June 18th, 2009
10:39 am

One thing more about Rennie Curran. He’s a great guy.

Mark Bradley

June 18th, 2009
10:40 am

I like Bull Terrier a lot, Cuz.

gtforever

June 18th, 2009
10:44 am

Very GOOD linebacker…… Robert, Julio is a MAN compared to AJ.. Both are good, but come on, AJ can’t carry Julio’s jock…..

Lazy Dawg

June 18th, 2009
10:45 am

Good article Mark I believe he is a great talent but would sure love to see him at strong safty.There would be no one who would fancey going across the middle of the field and it may be his best option at the next level.

AGTFan

June 18th, 2009
10:46 am

Rennie Curran is a FOOTBALL PLAYER!! If UGA had a few more like him on defense last year, we Tech fans wouldn’t have the pleasure of saying 45-42 all the time. I’d take him on any team I was building.

Coach D

June 18th, 2009
10:48 am

I want to send a special thanks to the AJC for the article about the Bulldogs going and visiting kids at Camp Sunshine. Those kids don’t have much hope in their lives and I’m proud of Coach Richt, his coaches, and players for taking part in these endeavors.

We as fans can say a lot of not so nice things on these blogs and we’re always talking about the 2% of players that are getting in trouble that we forget about the other 98% that are out there doing great things. Job well done AJC, keep up the good work.

WTF???

June 18th, 2009
11:00 am

Matt Hayes is a butt pirate & prolly wants to give Tebow the ol’ rusty trombone.

What a douche

WTF???

June 18th, 2009
11:04 am

CMR is a good man, not like Urban Meyer, Lane Kiffen (how he got Layla I will never know) & Les Miles.

Fort Worth Dawg

June 18th, 2009
11:10 am

LBLBLB — Little Bitty Liberian Linebacker

Coach D

June 18th, 2009
11:15 am

Now onto football related stuff….

TW…I’d like to comment of a few of your observations

1. Yes Hawaii wasn’t in UGA’s league at the end of 2007. With that being said, I think UGA would have beaten anyone they put in front of them: OSU, USC, and LSU wanted no part of UGA with the mojo they were playing. Opposing fans make fun of UGA for not winning a National Title since 1980, but I can assure you that IF they were given the chance in 2007 I have no doubt they would have cashed in.

2. The Florida game in 2007: Florida fans can whine about Tebow’s hurt shoulder and the endzone dance all they want, but the bottom line is that UGA simply outplayed them on both sides of the ball. Tebow got sacked 6 times in that game! That has nothing to do with his shoulder and everything to do with the Florida O-line getting their butts whooped.

3. Florida game in 2008: You can blame the defense for this game if you want, but I’m putting the blame on Coach Richt and his staff for not getting their team ready to play. His players were not focused and that’s astounding! How can you not get a team ready to play versus a rival( a talented and embarassed rival at that) in a game that has national title implications? Blows my mind! Also, Stafford and Knowshon were awful in this game( and should have been benched IMO), turning the ball over. Say what you want about the defense, but it’s hard to stop Florida when they start an offensive drive at the 1 yard line! Once the score became 35-3, the defense gave up. Again you can blame the defense for that, but I’m blaming the coaching staff. That team was not prepared that day period!

4. After the Florida game( Kent, Auburn, Tech): After having their bubble burst, the team lost confidence in themselves. The defense( which was mediocre to begin with) played without much motivation. This was a very immature team last year and they didn’t handle setbacks well. Playing for pride is not something they connected with, so they instead decided to feel sorry for themselves. Hence the half ass results versus Kentucky, Auburn, Tech and MSU. That’s not to say that the coaching wasn’t responsible as well, but take a look at that Tech game. Pretty pathetic tackling. That has nothing to do with coaching and everything to do with the players not wanting it more than the other guys.

Cuz

June 18th, 2009
11:17 am

He is really from Liberia? I did not know that. Someone yank my fandom status.

Natureboy809

June 18th, 2009
11:19 am

This toolbox REALLY has Terrell Pryor above Jevan Snead and Zach Robinson? Pryor has tremendous potential, but potential isn’t what wins games.