Former NFL player and Georgia Bulldog linebacker Rennie Curran came to speak with the Mercer football team and to offer some insight into the world of business, college football and professional sports. Many scouting reports from high school to college to the professionals said that Rennie Curran was too small to play at an elite level, but he proved them wrong. In Rennie Curran’s case, it’s not the size of the man but the size of his heart that matters.
Curran was a high school standout who still holds the record for most tackles in a career at Brookwood High School in Snellville, Ga.
However, many felt that Curran was too short to play linebacker at the college level. The University of Georgia offered him a scholarship, and for a lifelong Bulldog fan, he was living the dream.
“I have always loved the University of Georgia ever since my little league coach took me to see a game,” said Curran. “I use to run to the truck and listen to Larry Munson call the games, and I knew that I wanted him to call my name one day”
Curran arrived at the University of Georgia and made an impact during his time there. He received All-SEC honors and was also a finalist for several awards including best linebacker and best defensive player.
“My greatest honor was being named permanent team captain; it showed me that the guys trusted me as their leader,” said Curran.
When it came time for Curran to go to the NFL, questions of his size again arose, but he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the third round. After a year with the Titans, a new coaching staff was hired, and Curran was cut from the team. During this time, Curran chose to channel his energy during the trying time into writing a new book. Curran said that “Free Agent” is a book for people who are in that college age that are at a crossroads in life.
“Between the transition from college to the real world, you are considered a free agent,” said Curran.
He then became a motivational speaker, going around talking to high school and college athletes.
“I never planned to be an author. I just used a trying time in my life and turned it into something positive, and it’s opened so many doors to speaking and doing other things to help impact these young athletes,” said Curran.
Some of the major topics that Curran touched on while speaking with Mercer football team included how to maximize your platform as a college athlete, how each player is his own brand and the importance of networking and taking opportunities that are in front of you.
Curran used his experiences from life in order to help the Mercer football team get ready for the season.
Football player Tony Perella said, “He showed us it’s not just about living your life but also how we portray ourselves that we are our own brand. It just means a lot to have guys like Rennie Curran come in and speak to us… about how to be a more well-rounded person, not just an athlete.”
Curran enjoys mentoring young athletes, and one of those athletes is football player for the Mercer Bears, Zach Jackson. “I have known Rennie since I was a little kid, and he has always been the type of person to speak life into you,” said Jackson.
This was an experience for the football team to help lead them into next season with inspiration and to light a fire for them to maximize that platform that they are given as student athletes.
“To whom much is given, much is required. I’m just using the platform of being an athlete to help me reach high school and college athletes and let them know that there is more to life than being just an athlete,” said Curran.
The last lesson that Curran touched on was finding a reason for what you are doing in life – as he called it, finding your “why.”
“You must embrace your ‘why.’ Find something that is bigger than yourself,” said Curran. “Whether it’s your mom or your friends back home that will never have this opportunity, use your ‘why’ to get you through it.”
Rennie Curran is many things including football player, motivational speaker, author and musician, but he wants to be known for being more than that.
“I want to be known as a man of God, a man of character and a man of integrity,” he said. Curran certainly made an impact on the Mercer football team as they get ready for the season ahead with his words of wisdom and encouragement.