The Georgia Bulldogs had a great first game of 2015 against the ULM Warhawks. Joining me in an ATL All Day exclusive interview yesterday morning was none other than former UGA All-American LB Rennie Curran.
Rennie and I discussed many different topics in our nearly hour-long interview. We gave our hot takes on the Georgia Bulldogs home opener and all things UGA. Rennie talked to me about what it was like to get drafted by the Tennessee Titans, be a part of the Auburn Blackout Game, play for Coach Richt, and what live is like as a free agent.
I reference his book, also titled Free Agent, quite often in this interview as I found it inspirational about what to do when life doesn’t go as expected. Rennie also talked about his passion for motivational speaking, music, and training for his next opportunity in the NFL.
ATL All Day: Rennie, what were your main takeaways from the Georgia Bulldogs’ home opener last Saturday against the ULM Warhawks?
Rennie Curran: It was exciting to see guys like Malcolm Mitchell and Keith Marshall who had been injured get the opportunity to get back on the field and show what they can do. From my experience as a player at Georgia, it can be tough and so disheartening when you get up there with your hopes and dreams and have to miss extended time, possibly a whole season due to injury. I hope that they can stay healthy for the whole season. Defensively, I really liked how our defensive line really made a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. It was also nice to see some of the freshmen play, to know that we will have depth as we go further on down the line this season.
ATL All Day: You played for the Tennessee Titans in the National Football League. What were your fondest memories of playing for the Titans up in Nashville?
Rennie Curran: One of the greatest parts about being up in Nashville is the community. It kind of has that small town feel just like Athens, but of course it’s a bigger city. I wasn’t a big country music fan at all. But that’s obviously one of the biggest parts of Nashville. You can’t walk around downtown or The Strip without seeing somebody on the street corner, trying to make their dreams come true. Having the opportunity to live my dream and play in the NFL was great. The teammates I had were amazing. My lockermates like Chris Johnson and Randy Moss. Having the ability to travel to the different cities. Even though it was short-lived, I have a lot to be thankful for.
ATL All Day: From your book “Free Agent”, you talk about sacrifice on the path to success. How do you explain that to the younger crowd in your motivational speaking engagements?
Rennie Curran: When I talk about about sacrifice with kids, I always like to challenge them. I know that you have these dreams and things you want to accomplish in life. Just understand that when you grow up, it’s going to get even harder. I wish I could tell you when you reach that dream, that everything is going to be easier, but it’s tough to maintain. There is going to be tradeoff when achieving success. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
ATL All Day: You played in the 2007 Auburn Blackout Game. Describe what you remember about the events leading up to and playing in that game.
Rennie Curran: Leading up to that game, we had so much momentum built up after two early losses to South Carolina and Tennessee. We had some great leaders on our team. I felt that it was a breaking point for that championship level team. When we put on those black jerseys, it was like a small earthquake when we took the field at Sanford Stadium. The atmosphere was electric, with Soulja Boy blaring through the loudspeakers. I still go back and watch YouTube videos of that game, but there is no way to recreate magical, organic moment of that game. I wish I could go back and relive that moment again.
ATL All Day: What’s it like getting drafted? I’m curious because it’s a life experience I will never be able to feel, but I’m glad you got to.
Rennie Curran: It’s really a roller coaster ride of emotions. One second you’re up because you’re about to live your dream. One second you’re down because you’ll see guys you’re better than get drafted over you. A lot of times a team will call you and say that they’re going to draft you, only to go with someone else at that position instead of you. Your basically sitting there in your living room, waiting for a random number to pop up on your phone. But you have to remember that I’m one of the lucky few to be in this position to have this opportunity. When it finally does happen, it’s indescribable. It’s not the fact that you’ve been drafted, but all the emotions come rushing over you from all your successes and past failures. It’s nearly impossible not to cry. It’s so life changing.
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ATL All Day: Who was the most talented player you played with while with the Georgia Bulldogs?
Rennie Curran: AJ Green for sure. I remember seeing him the for the first time running routes in camp, thinking this is the next Randy Moss. The thing I loved about AJ the most was his understated confidence to show up and make plays like it was nothing. Never had to show up anybody. Just going about his business like it was no big deal.
ATL All Day: What was it like playing for a coach like Mark Richt?
Rennie Curran: One of the greatest thing about Coach Richt was the family atmosphere he created. You knew that he wasn’t an authoritative dictator. He really cares about what type of men his players become. I believe that he represents the G well and while continue to for a long time. But just because he comes across as a man of faith, doesn’t mean that he isn’t tough and demanding. He tries his best to surround us with a great support system. It was an awesome experience playing for him.
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