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HAMMOCK: Well-liked Curran pens inspirational book

Rennie Curran

Rennie Curran

BOOK SIGNING

What: Book signing with Brookwood grad and professional football player Rennie Curran, who will autograph copies of his new book, "Free Agent"

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: University Bookstore, Athens

Just a few years ago, Rennie Curran was fully involved in the excitement of Georgia's spring football game.

A tackling machine for the Bulldogs, the speedy linebacker was one of the main attractions as UGA fans, excited about the next season's prospects, packed Sanford Stadium. As he was in high school at Brookwood, Curran was one of the most well-liked players for his huge smile and engaging personality.

Because of that, the 24-year-old should draw his share of fans at this year's G-Day game, even if he's more of a sideshow as a former player.

Curran recently completed his first book, "Free Agent," an inspirational read that discusses the highs and lows of his life, including the time he spent in recent years as an NFL free agent. He will sign copies of the book from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the University Bookstore, just outside Sanford Stadium and prior to G-Day.

"It's based on my experience as an NFL free agent," Curran said. "Everybody, at some point, reaches a crossroads in their life and it's about turning that experience into a positive moment. It's about maintaining self-confidence. It's about overcoming failure."

That emotion was a pretty new one for Curran.

A football star at Brookwood, he also was one of the high school's most popular kids. The transition to college went pretty smoothly, too. He broke into UGA's starting lineup as a freshman and was the Bulldogs' leading tackler the next few seasons, racking up friends on the Athens campus more quickly than he did tackles.

He declared early for the NFL Draft, forgoing his senior season at UGA, and was drafted by the Tennessee Titans. Unfortunately, he played only sparingly for the Titans and was released. He signed with Tampa Buccaneers, but suffered the same fate.

Throughout the uncertainty of his future --what team would sign him or would he have a place to play at all --Curran found that writing was a great outlet for his emotions. As the sentences piled up, he thought about turning them into a motivational book for others, particularly young athletes, who are faced with adversity.

Before long, he had published "Free Agent," a 10-chapter, 150-page book with a foreword by UGA head coach Mark Richt. The back cover features endorsements from UGA legend Vince Dooley and actor/comedian Marlon Wayans.

Curran hopes that the book inspires others, because it's already inspired him.

"I never thought I'd write a book," Curran said. "It taught me I can do anything. Anyone can do whatever they want if they put their mind to it. If they overcome that fear."

Christianity plays a major role in the book as well.

"Not to give too much away, but I end the book with (my faith)," Curran said. "After everything you go through in life, that's what matters most. If you lose your job, or in my case, the crowds aren't cheering for you anymore, your faith gets you through everything."

As for Curran's football journey, he hopes that book isn't completely written.

The 5-foot-11, 230-pound linebacker has signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He plans to play this year in the CFL, with hopes of drawing the attention of another NFL team in the future.

"I'm only 24," Curran said. "I'm still young. I've got fresh legs. I haven't had any injuries. I'm hoping to do well in Canada, get some fresh film and get an opportunity (in the NFL)."

Will Hammock can be reached via email at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock.