Curran among former Bulldogs wooing NFL scouts

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    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Curran among former Bulldogs wooing NFL scouts
    By DAVID HALE - Sign up for daily e-mail news alerts


    tool goes here ATHENS — Former Atlanta Falcons star Jessie Tuggle took a liking to Rennie Curran the first time they met. Curran was a junior in high school and participating in a camp Tuggle was working at, and the NFL veteran decided to follow the future Georgia star’s career.

    As Curran developed, breaking down one barrier after another, Tuggle’s interest only deepened.

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    Last year, before Curran announced he would leave Georgia a year early to enter the draft, Tuggle passed along a DVD of some of the best plays he had made during his career with the Falcons. On the cover of the DVD, Tuggle wrote, “In two years, you’re going to be here.”

    Since then, Curran has leaned on Tuggle as a mentor, and Tuggle, in turn, has provided all the advice he can. And given the similar obstacles they’ve faced, it’s advice that carries plenty of weight.

    “I said look, this is from a guy that all the scouts said couldn’t play,” Tuggle said. “But they couldn’t judge the size of my heart. You’re going to be challenged and people are going to tell you you can’t play or you’re too short, but you’re going to have to go out there and prove that you can.”

    Curran took another step toward proving his doubters wrong during Georgia’s annual pro day workouts Tuesday — one of 11 former Bulldogs working out in front of more than two dozen NFL scouts and executives — and the results were generally positive.

    At the NFL combine earlier this month, Curran came up lame during his second day of workouts, tweaking his hamstring and forcing him to bow out of several events including the 40-yard dash.

    It was a disappointment, Curran said, but after two weeks of rehab that included an hour a day in a hyperbaric chamber and use of microcurrent therapy — use of an electrical current to stimulate cell production — he was ready for the scouts to test his speed and agility Tuesday.

    “It’s pretty scientific stuff, but it works,” Curran said.

    But there wasn’t much scientific about the primary knock on Curran proffered by NFL people. At 5-foot-10, Curran linebacker simply doesn’t have the prototypical stature of a professional linebacker. Neither was Tuggle, which gives Curran all the hope he needs that those obstacles can be overcome with enough hard work.

    “I still watch that DVD now,” Curran said. “It talks about his dreams and where he came from and him going to the Super Bowl. It’s the same as if they’re telling my story but of a guy in the NFL.”

    Of course, Curran was hardly the only former Georgia player looking to turn heads and up their draft stock on Tuesday.

    Defensive tackles Jeff Owens and Geno Atkins already used strong showings at the NFL combine to move into the first or second round of many draft projections, while safety Reshad Jones was simply using Tuesday’s workouts to supplement the work he had already done for scouts earlier in the offseason. All three have personal workouts scheduled with NFL teams already.

    “It was pretty much low pressure (Tuesday),” Jones said. “I had a pretty good combine, so it was low pressure, getting to have fun, run around out there and feel at home with the boys.”

    Others, like wide receiver Michael Moore and cornerback Prince Miller — two of the day’s most impressive performers — had much higher mountains to climb.

    Neither player was invited to the combine, and while an NFL future wasn’t out of reach, they first had to create some buzz among scouts.

    If the numbers from Tuesday’s workouts were any indication, it was mission accomplished.

    Miller’s unofficial 40 time of 4.48 would have ranked fifth among cornerbacks at the NFL combine this year, while his 22 reps on the bench press would have ranked second.

    The results were just as impressive for Moore, who ran a 4.57 40 time — roughly what former teammate Mohamed Massaquoi posted last season before being selected in the second round of the draft. Moore’s vertical jump put him just a half-inch behind the leaders at the combine among wide receivers, and his 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press would have been the most by any receiver at this year’s combine.

    “(Monday) night, I was tossing and turning, as nervous as I’ve been ever,” Moore said. “To come out and put up some pretty decent numbers and create some buzz, I think it was a good day.”

    It was a good day for Curran, too, he said. He benched 225 pounds 27 times, jumped 35 inches in the vertical and ran his 40 in 4.6 seconds – all solid numbers.

    There was a time — perhaps even a few weeks ago — when Curran said he was a bit frustrated. He had been hoping to work his way into the first round of the draft, and now that seems unlikely. Tuggle predicted the third or fourth round was more likely.

    And that’s fine with Curran, he said. He never expected it to be easy, he just wanted a fair shot.

    “I can’t think of any of my classmates that are going to be making six figures starting off, so I have nothing to complain about,” Curran said. “I’m just feeling honored, blessed and humbled to be in this situation.”

    Georgia Pro Day Top Performers

    (*Some players did not participate in all events)

    40-yard Dash (unofficial times)

    Bryan Evans – 4.44

    Prince Miller – 4.48

    Reshad Jones – 4.53

    Mike Moore – 4.57

    Rennie Curran – 4.60

    Broad Jump

    Mike Moore – 10 feet, 2 inches

    Bryan Evans – 10 feet, 1.5 inches

    Prince Miller – 9 feet, 8 inches

    Darius Dewberry – 9 feet, 7 inches

    Rennie Curran – 9 feet, 4.5 inches

    Vertical Leap

    Prince Miller – 37.5 inches

    Mike Moore – 36.5 inches

    Rennie Curran – 35 inches

    Bryan Evans – 34.5 inches

    Bench Press

    Rennie Curran – 27 reps

    Darius Dewberry – 22 reps

    Mike Moore – 22 reps

    Prince Miller – 22 reps

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