Brookwood grad Rennie Curran, who left Georgia after his junior season for the upcoming NFL draft, was invited for workouts at the NFL combine, held in Indianapolis from Feb. 24 to March 2. Curran and other linebackers hopeful of NFL careers worked out in the event's final few days for pro scouts. The 21-year-old kept a diary for the Daily Post on his combine experiences.
This is the second and final installment of the diary -- the first part ran in Saturday's edition.
I woke up feeling refreshed, washed up and headed down to get a quick bite to eat before meeting up with the rest of the linebackers in the main lobby. Today was a highly anticipated day for me. It was the day we not only took the Wonderlic Test, which is pretty much a competency test, but the day where we did our bench reps.
We headed straight to a part of the hotel designated just for us to take our psychological test. Already seated were the defensive linemen. As I sat down I could see the Wonderlic Test and was pretty anxious to start. I had heard many things about the test, but the biggest thing was I didn't want to do bad on it. The worst thing would be for me to somehow do bad on it, and for everyone and their moms to know that I'm dumb.
I sat next to Sergio Kindle of Texas and we joked about how embarrassing it would be to do bad on it. Once we got started my fears quickly went away. I felt really good about it and laughed for stressing about it so much. We were led into another room after the test was complete. We had a meeting with the NFLPA, which is the players union. They told us a lot of important things of about the league, the history of the players union and why it is important to have a union that represents the fair treatment of professional players. Once the meeting was done it was back to more testing.
We went through a serious of psychological tests that seemed to never end. We received a personality test, color test, reaction test and others that test everything about you. I left after two hours feeling like my brain was fried. We got a little break for lunch, and then interviewed with more coaches before heading back to my room and getting dressed for our bench workouts. I got dressed and headed back down to the lobby to meet up with the linebackers. We made it to the stadium and back to the room where we had previously been measured and weighed. The defensive linemen had just finished up and it was our turn. The weightlifting coach from the Arizona Cardinals gave us the scoop on how everything would go. After his speech we began warming up.
I was more than confident that I would do well. My trainer Ryan had prepared me well. One by one, I watched the linebackers rep 225 pounds as many times as they could until my number was up. My heart was beating so hard it felt like it would explode out of my chest. I walked up on the stage, they announced my name and school, then I sat on the bench. I motivated myself by putting a mental picture up of my daughter, and knowing that if I didn't do what I needed to she wouldn't be taken care of. That was all I needed. I hit the bench and went to work.
My goal was to get 30 reps. I ended up getting 28 with three of the reps being taken away because the judge felt that I did not completely lock my arms out on the way up. After we were finished we headed back to the hotel. I was glad the first phase was over. I got dinner before heading back up to my room to get ready for interviews. I pulled out another nice dress shirt I had bought just for my formal interviews, ironed it and made sure I was looking neat. I interviewed with so many teams and it was good to see the interest that everyone had. All of them went well. Some of them wanted to get to know me as a person while the others wanted to see more of how much football knowledge I was able to understand and communicate. This was my favorite part of the interview.
One thing that they all seemed to say was they liked the way I played and not to worry about my height. It was so unreal meeting coaches that I would otherwise only see on Sundays. After the interviews I spent the rest of the night getting prepared for the workout the next day.
I woke up feeling pretty positive about the day. It was the day of the combine workout. I had watched the combine tons of times, watching guys who are now in the pros, including a lot of my teammates, and I was excited that my time had finally come. It was what I had trained the past two months anywhere from four to eight hours a day for. I washed up and got dressed before heading down for breakfast. I was ready to show the world what I could do.
I met up with the linebackers in the main lobby for roll call before heading to the stadium one last time. After all of the past important days, this was the most important. The day went pretty fast. We arrived at the stadium and took pictures that would be on the combine Web site. I got my ankles taped. We hit the field and there was a coach designated to take us through a serious of stretches and movements to get us warmed up. After getting warmed up we did a flexibility test before getting started on the workouts.
Not too long into the combine it was time to run the 40-yard dash. I could see the scouts and coaches packed in the stands and couldn't help but think of the guys who had run the 40 before. Guys who had really ridiculously fast times, and those who ran slower than they might normally.
I felt good about the work I had put in, and I knew no matter what I got, that I had worked hard. I looked on as the guys ran before me. I could feel my heart beating faster and faster as my number got closer. Finally it was my turn.
I got in my stance and began running quickly when all of a sudden I heard a whistle blow. I didn't know what I did wrong, I was told I had to hold my stance for three seconds before taking off. I got back in my stance and took off. As I raised my head it felt like I was in a dream. Just as I neared the end I could feel a sharp pain in my right hamstring. I was going so fast that I lost my balance. It felt like a muscle cramp at first, but I realized I had tweaked my hamstring as I made it back to where the other linebackers were positioned to stretch.
I couldn't see the 40 time I had ran so I got my agent Deryk to text me my 40 time -- 4.72. I was in shock and disappointed. I had not run a 4.7 since my freshman year in high school. Worst of all I wasn't sure I could run it any faster after tweaking my hamstring.
I quickly talked to a trainer and then to my agent before shutting things down for the day. I wanted to show the coaches and scouts that I not only loved football, but was an athlete as well. I watched the rest of the day as the other linebackers went through drills and could only imagine what I would do if I was 100 percent. I stayed positive and immediately started thinking about proving myself at UGA's pro day (Tuesday).
Things had not gone the way I wanted them to, but I wasn't about to give up or get down on myself. After a couple hours the combine was over. I congratulated the rest of the linebackers and wished them the best before heading back to the hotel. I packed my bags, checked out of my room and said bye to the rest of scouts and friends I had made along the trip.
I loaded the charter bus along with the guys I had came with. The combine was over, and I still had the bitter taste of not being able to perform the way I wanted to. We made it to the airport, got checked in and made it to our gate. I parted ways with the other players who were headed out west and soon it was time to board the plane. After an hour flight I was back in Atlanta.
I immediately called my family and headed to the baggage claim. As I got closer to the baggage claim I caught sight of Natalie, who I had grown up with and dated all throughout high school, and my daughter, Eleana. My heart was automatically filled with joy as I hugged them. I grabbed Eleana and squeezed her tight. I was so glad to be back home. It inspired me even more to show the world what I can do at the next level.