You may bump into Rennie Curran anywhere: schools, churches, game sidelines, charity venues, shopping malls—even Kroger to grocery shop for his pre-teenage daughter. He is a man on the move, making motivational speeches, signing books, extending a helping hand to countless charities and dispensing generous doses of altruism and goodwill hoping to make somebody’s day and reminding any who come his way that a positive stance in life is the companion that makes a notable difference.
Rennie’s business card should read, “Have speech, will travel.” His tastes in music are probably a light-year two from that of the great lyricist, Johnny Mercer, the Savannahian with Academy Award credentials, but they have something in common when it comes to accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.
Today Rennie is an entrepreneur, yesterday he was a football player. His story is one that relates to overachieving and finishing the drill. He earned the college scouts’ attention when he was at Brookwood High in Gwinnett County where he earned all-star recognition which was based on tangibles (solo tackles, tackles for loss, breaking up passes) and intangibles (leadership, setting a good example and being a good teammate).
Growing up with a deep and abiding passion to play for the Bulldogs, Rennie was certainly not the prototypical linebacker that you expect to see making waves on a college campus, even in the years when he lettered for the Bulldogs, 2007-8-9. After all, the student managers are often bigger than Rennie was at 6-1, 200 pounds.
A man’s heart, especially in athletics, can be an equalizer. It can be a difference-maker which means the song, “You Gotta Have Heart,” could have been written for Rennie who has direct ties to the West African nation of Liberia.
Curran is a throwback to another time when it was inherent that families understood the importance of opportunity and education. Also inherent in his nature is an attitude to embrace the work ethic and to underscore gratefulness.
His parents are natives of Liberia. His mother, Josie, came to America to study for a masters in nursing at Emory University. His father, Rennie Sr., worked for the Liberian government and was in Minnesota on assignment when war broke out back home. He stayed put and chose to live out his life in America.
Today, Curran understands he would not have had the opportunity that has blessed his life without his mother sacrificing and making the connection at Emory. It is a family tradition with the Currans, taking inspiration from the Biblical admonition that man is to “earn his bread by the sweat of the brow.”
When he succeeds, you can expect the world to benefit. One of his objectives would be to do something for the many in his grandfather’s homeland without running water and educational opportunities.
Rennie Curran is anything but ungrateful. How could it be any other way-he comes by it naturally. It’s a family tradition. He played football very well at the University of Georgia but was an undersized linebacker in the National Football League with the Tennessee Titans and the Tampa Bay Bucks for two NLF seasons and after that 2 ½ seasons competing in the Canadian Football League.
The Touchdown Club of Athens honored him recently for his play against South Carolina in Sanford Stadium in 2009. The Bulldogs defeated the Gamecocks 41-37 thwarting the last gasp efforts of Steve Spurrier, bent on stealing the home team’s thunder as time was running out. The game ended on an incomplete pass, tipped by Curran at the four-yard line. When it comes to exiting games in which there is a lot of scoring, this was one of the most exciting conference games to take place in Sanford stadium.
The Gamecocks led 17-14 after the first quarter. The Bulldogs led at the half, 31-23 and 38-28 when the third quarter ended. The Gamecocks closed the score to 38-37 toward the end of the final quarter on an interception which was returned for a TD. However, defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson blocked the extra point attempt. When Blair Walsh added a FG for the Bulldogs, this meant that the Gamecocks on the final possession had to score a touchdown to win the game.
Rennie Curran made sure that did not happen.
Learn more about Rennie’s amazing endeavors at renniecurran.com.