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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The One That Almost Got Away

There are 20 players on Auburn's roster who hail from Georgia, and had Mark Richt and the Bulldogs' coaches not acted swiftly in April of 2006, there could have been 21 -- and UGA might have missed out on one of the best defensive players in the SEC.

“Georgia kind of waited until the last minute to offer me," linebacker Rennie Curran said. "So I was like, ‘Hey, if you don’t offer me, I’m going to Auburn and I’m going to give y’all hell.’”

Instead, it's been the rest of the SEC Curran has tormented for the past three seasons, but the story nearly unfolded much differently.

The Tigers had offered Curran a scholarship more than four months before the Bulldogs. While Curran was set on staying close to his hometown of Snellville, he wasn't banking on an offer from his home state's biggest school, and after visiting both campuses, he found a lot of similarities between Athens and Auburn.

“It’s an awesome atmosphere," he said. "It’s pretty similar to Athens, being in a small town and the fans were crazy just like ours are. They had a pretty similar academic situation, too. A lot of things appealed to me except for the distance. I wanted to stay as close to home as possible.”

As the months dragged out and the offer from UGA still hadn't come, Auburn looked more and more like the future home of the SEC's second leading tackler.

"I knew in the past Auburn liked the small linebackers, so that’s something I took into account," Curran said. "It wasn’t too far away from home, and I didn’t really want to go to Georgia Tech. So I looked at them as a place I’d possibly go if Georgia didn’t offer me.”

But the offer did eventually come, and when it came down to it, there was really no competition between the two schools. Auburn had a lot to offer, but Georgia was home.

"(Georgia) was close to home, and I loved the atmosphere," Curran said. "Coach Richt was a big factor and my family and everything could come watch me play. (Auburn) had (linebacker) Tray Blackmon, so I didn’t want to go there and have to compete with him. I wouldn’t mind having to compete with him, but I felt like Georgia was the place for me."


BulldogBry said...

"It wasn’t too far away from home, and I didn’t really want to go to Georgia Tech.........."

I heart Rennie Curran

Anonymous said...

Ahh... that is disturbing to read. It is a little infuriating to hear how UGA slow plays Georgia players thinking they can get them everytime because they are the instate school. I am certainly glad it panned out in this instance, but it sure doesn't always. I like that we are going into Florida more for talent, but we should not be ignoring the instate talent. Again, Alabama and Tennessee are targeting top guys, getting their feet in the door and not giving us a chance because it already is too late when we start.

Anonymous said...

Hard to criticize our recruiting success, but then again, UGA fans criticize everything these days. I have never seen a program doing so well catch so much grief. Are we off our norm this year?

Sure, but we had two big losses from our offense that left in January, and a few things went south on us. Think we are the biggest diasappointment? Not even close. Look at Oklahoma and USC's fall from the Top 5, or ND's performance against a weak schedule, or Michigan's last two years. Whiney, and miserabable is what we have become...for no apparent reason. Spoiled brats, imo.

Anonymous said...

Nice comments by Rennie, but Auburn and UGA are not close academically these days. Anonymous 9:31, you are disturbed about Georgia's recruiting? Really? Our cup runneth over the last several years. Do we get them all? No, and we never will.