The UGA defense has found its fair share of struggles this season. On Thursday, Bulldawg Illustrated had the chance to catch up with for former Bulldog defensive great Rennie Curran to talk about some of the the challenges currently facing coach Grantham’s crew, as well as some life challenges everybody faces which Curran has summarized in his book: Free Agent
Rennie Curran played at UGA from 2007-2009, and made a name for himself as one of the better linebackers to ever come through Athens. After being named to the first-team All SEC during his junior season, Curran decided it was time to chase his ultimate dream of playing in the NFL. Drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft, Curran thought he had it made. But after some coaching changes by the Titans following Curran’s rookie year, he found himself released from the team, and back at home once again starting from square one. This is when his book, Free Agent, came to be.
“I found myself back home at a time of uncertainty, which is a place that a lot of people find themselves,” Curran said. “You look at people in everyday life that lose their jobs, or in my situation are released from their teams, and they can get into this depressed state. That job had been their identity, and now they lost their job title. And that’s the point where most of the time, guys throw in the towel. I looked at is as how I could overcome that time, and realize that I was bigger than just my title.”
Deciding that sitting around and waiting on a phone call was not the way to treat the adversity that had found him, Curran decided that the opportunity that now faced him was a chance to do something he always felt he had done best; motivate and inspire others.
“I looked at how I could inspire others, and really encourage them in any walk of life,” Curran said. “Anybody, whether a football player or a doctor, they all have to go through a transition. Even Michael Jordan, one of the greatest players to play the game of basketball, he had to go through transition. Everybody has to adapt. That’s just part of life.”
What transpired from Curran’s new outlook on life was Free Agent, a book that Curran describes as a self-help and motivational piece of literature.
“I looked at how when you get into that no-man’s land, or that time of being a free agent, how it really helps you to grow, and if you look at it in the right way, with the right attitude, how you can turn failures into successes,” Curran said. “I talk about different life topics that affect us and our journeys to achieve our dreams. I talk about self confidence, being self motivated, having humility and being able to ask for help.”
Coach Mark Richt, who coached Curran during his time at UGA, wrote the forward for Free Agent, and spoke about the book and Curran yesterday as well.
“Rennie is a great human being,” Richt said. “A great Bulldog. I love the guy and I love his family. Just a great representation of what we want here at Georgia.”
“He is real with his life and his thoughts, and just to read his book, it gives you some insight as to what goes through the mind of a young person who’s putting their career on the line,” Richt said. “A lot of careers don’t get started until you’re in your early twenties, but football, your football career can end in your early twenties, so it’s a very crucial time in a young man’s life. He is chasing a dream that he has had for his entire life, and he is shooting for the stars. He gives a very real, gut-level description of what it’s like. It’s very good reading.”
You can get your copy of Free Agent, or a copy in time to gift for the upcoming holidays by visiting RennieCurran.com
***And GREAT NEWS!! You are going to have a chance to win an autographed copy of Free Agent not once, not twice, but FIVE time today! Check out our Free Agent contest page throughout the day, where you will have a chance to answer a trivia question and to get your hands on an autographed copy of the book!
As promised, Curran also took the time to talk about the current state of the UGA defense. While playing for the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, Curran sounded very excited and relieved that he was still able to see all the Dawgs’ games north of the border.
All the scrutiny being brought on defensive coordinator Todd Grantham reminds Curran a lot of the time he had at UGA.
“I look back to the time I played, and [Willie] Martinez faced a lot of scrutiny, and we went through our tough times as well,” Curran said. “It’s now the same thing when I watch them. They have guys out there busting their tails to make plays every single down, and whether it’s turnovers or injuries, things are going to happen.”
Reaching into his new found motivational self, Curran was able to find some advice for the boys struggling in Athens.
“My biggest thing to them is just to keep working,” Curran said. “There’s no time to point fingers, which unfortunately a lot of times is what happens. I can tell those guys are sticking together and working hard, and this is a time when leadership needs to step up more than ever.”
Curran also was quick to point out that the defense is young, which should be taken into account before an axe were to drop.
“The best teams we had were when we had that senior, veteran leadership,” Curran said. “It’s tough. It’s really every single week. In the SEC there is never a week off, so there is no real acclimation point. Every week is a challenge. The biggest thing is just getting those guys to be humble, especially the ones that come in as high-end recruits. It’s making them realize that it’s a grind in the SEC, and you cannot take any teams for granted.”