39: Rennie Curran, Linebacker #35 (2007 – 2009)
Like me, Rennie Curran grew up in Snellville, Georgia, and played his high school football at my high school rival, Brookwood. Despite his short height, Curran was one of the top linebacking prospects in the country after recording over 150 tackles in both his junior and senior seasons. Rennie is the son of immigrant parents from Liberia. Here is a great video on his family and how he came to Georgia:
Arriving on campus in 2007, Curran quickly made a place for himself in the Georgia rotation at outside linebacker. He made his first career start in Georgia’s 42-30 victory over Florida in Jacksonville, recording 5 tackles, including two for a loss. A continued to make big plays in the Blackout victory over Auburn and had his finest game of the season against Kentucky. As the Dawgs got revenge for the 2006 loss to the Wildcats, Curran was named SEC freshman of the week as he made 13 tackles in the victory. He closed his freshman season with a 7 tackle game in the trouncing of Hawaii in the Sugar bowl. For the season he played in 11 games (starting 5), had 53 tackles and 3 sacks. He was named to the All-SEC Freshman team and a Freshman All-American by Sporting News, Rivals, and Scout.
In 2008, Curran would win numerous awards including 4th team All-American (Phil Steele) first team All-SEC (Coaches, 2nd Team AP), and was also a Butkus Award finalist. He lead the team in tackles in 9 of 13 games, totaling 115 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He registered double digit totals in sacks and five games and forced a fumble at the goal line against South Carolina to help preserve a Georgia lead. Here is a look at some highlights from the 2008 season:
2009 ended up being Rennie final year at Georgia, but with a struggling defense around him, he played an even more important role than he had previously. In the second game of the season against South Carolina, he made a play that clinched the Georgia victory:
He recorded a career high 16 tackles in Georgia’s narrow loss to LSU, one of six double digit tackle games for him during the season. He led or tied for the team lead in tackles during eleven of Georgia’s thirteen games. For the year, he registered an SEC leading 130 tackles, including 10 quarterback pressures and 3 pass break ups. He was named a consensus first team All-SEC member, the permanent defensive captain, and a finalist for the Lombardi and Bednarik awards.
For his career, he made 30 starts (out of 37 games) and had 298 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 24 tackles for a loss. His 298 tackles is 15th all-time at Georgia and he was named a two-time All-SEC player. He left for the NFL following the 2009 season and was drafted by the Tennessee Titans.