Why Rennie Curran should have stayed at UGA

Rennie Curran doing his search-and-destroy thing. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Rennie Curran doing his search-and-destroy thing. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Rennie Curran might not be my favorite Georgia Bulldog ever, but he would, as they say in the Tour de France, make the podium. (Meaning: Top three.) Really good player, really nice fellow, really fun to watch play and really fun to interview. (David Pollack, by way of comparison, was a great player who was fun to watch play but no fun to interview.)

But now Rennie C. has me worried. He’s leaving for the NFL a year early, and I’m afraid he’ll get lost in this draft. He’s not rated among the top 100 prospects by ESPN.com’s Scouts Inc., and if you go 101st in a draft you’re a fourth-rounder. And that means you’re fighting the current — Curran, current? Get it? — from Day 1 of minicamp.

I’m aware of Curran’s presumed limitations. He’s short. (Not small, just short.) And no, he’s not apt to grow much and thereby improve his draft status over the next year of his young life. And yes, there’s a chance the NFL will have imposed a rookie salary cap by 2011. (Though I doubt it will happen that quickly, if it all.) I know there are reasons for him to leave now. I just think he’d have been better served by staying.

I haven’t broken down every snap played by Georgia’s defense these past two seasons — hey, I’m not a masochist — but my layman’s view was that Curran was better as a sophomore than as a junior. And I think, given the presumed upgrade at defensive coordinator, he’d have had a chance at a big senior season. And I think those scouts who value productivity over measurements — there aren’t many, but there are some — might have been able to lobby him into, say, Round 3  or even Round 2 in 2011.

I’m no scout, but I think Curran can play in the NFL. His instincts are off the charts, or they would be if you could chart instincts, which you can’t. Which brings me to this: Some Round 4 guys work their way upward by tripping the light fantastic in workouts. Curran would seem the opposite of a Workout Warrior; he’s not going to look as good just running and jumping as he does  slicing between blockers to snare a running back.

Curran needs to land in the right place because he’s so unusual. The Bulldogs themselves didn’t know what to make of him as a freshman, but finally the coaches decided to put him on the field and let him wing it. Last year Mark Richt admitted the Bulldogs ordinarily teach pursuing linebackers to lead with a certain shoulder, but with Curran the coaches threw up their hands and said, “Just tackle somebody.”

I’m worried the pro team that winds up with Rennie C. won’t be so willing to waive standard procedure. I’m worried it will try to fit him into a slot unsuited for his particular gifts and will end up losing patience. I’m worried that, because he isn’t apt to be even a second-rounder, Curran’s team won’t feel any great pressure to justify the pick and will just stick him on the practice squad. Or worse.

And I’d hate that. I like watching Curran play, and I’d like to keep watching him another five or 10 years. I hope this move works out for him. Having been wrong about everything lately, I’d really hate to be right about this one.

228 comments Add your comment

Sam Twain

January 10th, 2010
10:49 pm

mike28212

January 10th, 2010
10:49 pm

I hope it all works out for Curran. He always played with heart.

GreggJ

January 10th, 2010
10:50 pm

jeffrey d

January 10th, 2010
10:50 pm

I loved Curran. He was one of the bright spots for our poor D last year. Hope he does well

gerald perry's yoga routine

January 10th, 2010
10:51 pm

Downward dawg, big time. This news saddens me. ‘Fraid your right.

Namaste.

GreggJ

January 10th, 2010
10:51 pm

Not hardly first Twain beat me- anyway Bradley I am worried too! lets pray for a great combine for him

David

January 10th, 2010
10:51 pm

Curran has a kid that he has to take care of.

Dawg in the Know

January 10th, 2010
10:51 pm

The Alumni cut him off after the 5 loss season, he needs some quick cash for diapers and formula. Anyway there is a guy coming in that will replace him quite nicely. Here is a quick overview of Rennie’s replacement :

http://proxy.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/news/story?id=4812187

Mark Bradley

January 10th, 2010
10:52 pm

Sam, you win by a millisecond. Kudos.

And I mean it when I say I hope I’m wrong about this one. Rennie Curran is a great guy.

Sam Twain

January 10th, 2010
10:52 pm

Would have loved to see him stay, but I wonder what advice he received regarding his predicted draft spot? As a junior he still had options…

GWJ

January 10th, 2010
10:53 pm

Class act….Bulldog nation wishes Rennie all the best!

Sam Twain

January 10th, 2010
10:53 pm

Oh, and THWGT.

Mark Bradley

January 10th, 2010
10:53 pm

And there’s no guarantee he’d go higher in 2011 than in ‘10. I’m just worried he won’t go very high at all in this draft.

Flag Boy

January 10th, 2010
10:54 pm

Rumour is that he didn’t want to get his ass kicked next year in Athens for the second time in a row. With Groh coming on, Dawgs won’t have a chance next year.

crackerjack

January 10th, 2010
10:55 pm

Yes, this is too bad. Love the guy, but I think he will fall into the same category as other DGD’s who left too early. T. Bierria comes to mind… I have to also wonder about how a new Def Coordinator would have utilized him. Guess we’ll never know. Good luck Rennnie! We’ll miss you!

DuluthDawg

January 10th, 2010
10:56 pm

Curran = DGD… Godspeed Rennie, we’ll miss you.

Greek Dawg

January 10th, 2010
10:57 pm

I think personal obligations had a lot to do with his decision. Could also be learning to play in a new system: a 3-4 defense that the new DC will be putting in. btw Mark, Kirby Smart IS our new coordinator at UGA. He’s been putting his staff together during the day. A couple may be in place as we write. We’ll miss Rennie. I pray he lands well.

Kris G

January 10th, 2010
10:58 pm

Look… if ever there were a year to go, this is it. Don’t Sam Bradford your money away. Go. Make your money, save it, stay away from animal abuse. Just wish the Falcons had more mid-round picks. The Patriots are going to clean up like never before. You think they were a dynasty 5 years ago?

Rennie Curran

January 10th, 2010
10:58 pm

First, thanks for your concerns Mark. But I have concerns for your job welfare also. There are concerns if newspapers will even be a viable business in 2011. Like you, I feel your reporting was better last year. Hopefully, you will be able to find an employer who is willing to work with you while you improve your performance.

Flag Boy = Dawg

January 10th, 2010
11:00 pm

Trying to stir something up for the mentally deficient — on both sides? Not necessary. Let’s honor Rennie’s contribution as a Dawg and drop the St. Simons garbage that some of you fellow Dawgs have adopted. Have some class and represent. Rennie had class, lots of it.

Rusty

January 10th, 2010
11:00 pm

Bradley, I don’t think you really believe he should have stayed.

GreggJ

January 10th, 2010
11:02 pm

Aw I hope so Geek Dawy- Shultz said DAWG fans are dreaming if they think we can get smart

Dawg4Life

January 10th, 2010
11:03 pm

Second time in a row? Please…Al Groh is 100 years old and sucked at VA, you are getting a “has been” coach. We are getting one of the most highly sought after coaches in the land. BTW, Yech hasnt beat UGA twice in a row since the last millenium.
Flag boy…go back to your flare cheering.

SLP

January 10th, 2010
11:04 pm

I think he just felt the pressure of having a young family to feed and provide for. I hope he lands with a team that brings him along, teaching him technique, who has some patience. He is a very good athlete who will be able to contribute if he listens to his coaches and mentors.

Soon Be 30 Years

January 10th, 2010
11:05 pm

Mark, He ain’t getting bigger, ain’t getting any faster. ONLY reason to stay would be a desire to win a Championship. You think Missionairy position Man is winning a Championship in THIS conference. Mark would be better off staking out spots in Uzbekistan to get his life’s work started–and that sure the heck does not include coaching football.

Greek Dawg

January 10th, 2010
11:06 pm

GreggJ. Consider the source.

Whopper Dawg

January 10th, 2010
11:06 pm

He should go. You have some good points, but the manner of play and height won’t change. Risk of injury outweighs anything an unknown DC might or might not do for him.

Production is what gets you playing time in the SEC and in the NFL and they won’t care what shoulder he leads with if the guy with the ball is on the ground.

Good luck and Godspeed Mr. Curran. I enjoyed watching you play for the Dawgs.

Eat It St. Simons

January 10th, 2010
11:06 pm

Best of luck to you Rennie, you’re a DGD.

((((30-24))) hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 10th, 2010
11:08 pm

Flag Boy:
YOU GUYS JUST PLAIN QUIT AT THE END OF THE SEASON…WHEN A TEAM (UGA) BEATS YOUR A$$ 89% OF THE TIME, (LAST 8 OF 9), AND YOU COME TALKING TRASH, YOU GOTTA BE STUPID…WHAT DID YOU SEE IN THE UGA GAME OR THE IOWA GAME TO MAKE YOU THINK YOU’RE GONNA BEAT ANYBODY…THINK OLE DUKEY MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN YOU GUYS AT THE END OF THE SEASON…YOU DIDN’T “FINISH THE DRILL”…..

Dawg Undergrad

January 10th, 2010
11:08 pm

Rennie told me he wants to play in the Georgia Dome and he knew he had a better shot of playing there next year as a pro.

Pull My Finger

January 10th, 2010
11:08 pm

Flagboy, aren’t you late for a tickle pile? 30-24, sweetie!!!

IKnowBest

January 10th, 2010
11:09 pm

Glad he is gone. I am tired of the midget Linebackers!! Did he ever have an interception? I doubt that he will get drefted before the 5th round.

Flag Boy = Dawg

January 10th, 2010
11:09 pm

Dawg4Life, Flag Boy is a Dawg that is just trying to stir the pot. Let’s honor Rennie a different way by ignoring the flamers and instigators.

Wrong again Mark

January 10th, 2010
11:13 pm

Actually, contrary to your previous statement, Rennie is just as impressive with the weights as he is on the field. When I was in high school I trained at the same location as Rennie Curran and had the privilege of meeting him once. I have seen him hit the weights, and he is every bit impressive with his work ethic in the weight foom as he is on the playing field. This guy will make it. He is driven like no other person I have ever met. Good luck Rennie.

IKnowBest

January 10th, 2010
11:13 pm

If I were CMR I would give KS until 6:00 pm tomorrow to make a decision. After that I would withdraw the offer. Go after someone else.

82dawg

January 10th, 2010
11:13 pm

Oh boy, this one leaves me scratching my head. Curran is considered undersized by college standards. He is quick, but not fast and excells mostly with his instincts and heart. He is the NFL’s version of Rudy and will likely see just about as much playing time. Really wierd.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 10th, 2010
11:13 pm

Soon Be 30 Years:
COACH RICHT HAS ALREADY WON 2 SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS, OR DID YOU JUST START KEEPING UP WITH COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN 2009…YOU TOO HAVE LET YOUR LARGEMOUTH BASS MOUTH OVERLOAD YOUR HUMMINGBIRD A$$..

Ginger

January 10th, 2010
11:15 pm

I like Rennie too and wish the best for him….the lure of the money and being able to support the 1 yr old daughter was big for him…..I thought he missed some assignments this yr and would have benefited from new coordinator and big sr season….then of course there is the what If I get hurt aspect…so probably did best thing for family……He is going into a draft that is heavy on defensive players so that hurts…..Here’s hoping that he can play as well as Sam Mills did (another short linebacker) and have long career. If I were Rennie—I would be getting with folks who could help me and start working real hard for the combine and UGA pro-day & then play relentlessly in training camp and watch tape, tape, tape—mental and physical prep……unfortunate no Sr bowl type activities

coach smith

January 10th, 2010
11:17 pm

This is going to be one of the deepest defensive drafts in a years…I wish he’d stay.

Any chance the Falcons take a look at CURRAN in the 4th or 5th round?

I had heard there could be some interest in OWENS or ATKINS now that they are grading in the later rounds

I also saw a mock draft where the Falcons took ROLANDO McCLAIN (sp.?) from Alabama

How about a draft by the falcons where they could take McClain (LB) in the first round, ATKINS or OWENS in the 4th or 5th rounds and CURRAN in a late round!

That would strengthen the defense in a hurry

the truth

January 10th, 2010
11:19 pm

Mark you are right on point….he will be lucky to get drafted in the 4th round….may not get drafted at all…he will only picked up by a team that runs a 4-3 defense…he can not play in a 3-4..too small…will have to play weak side lb like an undersized dexter coakly did with the cowboys (coakley had great success but he is twice as quick as rennie)….i hate to say it but if had stayed at uga and kirby runs his 3-4 at uga…would be interesting to see where kirby would have played him…i think rennie knows that and may have gotten exposed next year…witch would hurt him in the following years draft

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

January 10th, 2010
11:20 pm

IKnowBest:
2 STUPID POSTS IN A 5 MINUTE TIME PERIOD…THE 3RD ONE WILL SET A NEW RECORD….IF YOU EVER GET UP CLOSE TO RENNIE CURRAN, CALL HIM A MIDGET AND I PROMISE YOU YOU BETTER BE ON THE RUN, CAUSE HE MIGHT NOT APPRECIATE BEING CALLED A MIDGET…

Dawg Fan

January 10th, 2010
11:20 pm

“Captain Kirk Herbstreit lost that Bowl Game as starting QB.

Must be where all his bias came from in 2007 as he tried so hard to get Georgia demoted from #1 to #4, I remember that, it was really wierd considering 2 teams went to the National Championhip without winning their conference.”

Why are there so many confused Dawg fans out there? Clearly the National Title that year was played by LSU(SEC Champion) vs. Ohio State(Big 10 Champion)

We played in the Sugar Bowl which was great but we didn’t win the East and didn’t even play in the SEC Title Game.

Soon Be 30 Years

January 10th, 2010
11:21 pm

Hey Phi Beta Kappa, I went to Flotida and we are devastated by not playing in National Championship Games. SEC Championships are okay but of no import. Congratulations to Bama for beating the crap out of us. You OBVIOUSLY deserved it!! By the way Lake Oconess Diminished Expectations, ONE of those SCE Championships was while Ron Zook was at Florida. There should be an asterisk next to all games for those 3 years. By the way, How does the Right Recerand Richt manage to go 2-8!!! against his biggest rival and they don’t send the pious punk back to Boca Raton where he belongs.

Also–The Missionairy Position Master SOMEHOW went 1-2 against Zook. That should be a fireable offense. Have you noticed his “resume” basically came when Florida had an idiot as its coach?

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

January 10th, 2010
11:22 pm

Would you stay at a school that may paint your a$$ at any time?

Conservative Carol

January 10th, 2010
11:23 pm

Is Richt really into missionairy positions? What is wrong with that?

Harry

January 10th, 2010
11:23 pm

One thing ive noticed about Curran is that he is just ripped. I saw him next to rod battle and there was just no comparisan. I also think a year under a better defensive coaching staff wouldve helped, but i think he will impress scout with his strength and instincts.

willie martinez

January 10th, 2010
11:24 pm

Mark, I’m afraid Rennie might not be big enough for the NFL.

willie martinez

January 10th, 2010
11:26 pm

Nor was I particularly thrilled by the masochist remark.

Mark Richt

January 10th, 2010
11:27 pm

Carol, doggy is more my style.

dawgjammin

January 10th, 2010
11:28 pm

Rennie’s tackling stats in the conference that plays the best defense in the country speaks for itself. That alone will get him some looks. In his interview today he said losing Kade, Owens and Atkins was a part of him deciding to leave this year. Given this, Methinks he will ace the wonderlick…thos 3 big bodies ate up a lot of center/guards and tackles that tried to get off the line of scrimage and block Rennie for the past 3 years…

All that said, it would have been nice to see him make a run at some of the conference/school record books and national awards next year.