From Parents Immigrating to the US, then to the NFL Draft – Hear what Rennie Curran says got him to the top! C-Level with Chris DeBlasio
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From Parents Immigrating to the US, then to the NFL Draft – Hear what Rennie Curran says got him to the top! -C-Level with Chris DeBlasio
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– On this episode of C-Level I sit down with Rennie Curran, keynote speaker, author, and former NFL athlete. Hey Rennie, thank you for coming out man, appreciate it.
– Man, thanks very much for having me.
– So I’ve been actually following your content, and you’ve been doing a lot of speaking, and man, I really appreciate just speaking life into a lot of these people on leadership and stuff, so for the small majority of people that don’t know who you are, give me a little bit of your background, how you got started, how you got into football, getting drafted, all that stuff.
– Man, it’s a long story as it always is, man, but my background basically starts with my parents, I always talk about them. Both Liberian immigrants who came here in the early ’80s. My mom came here on scholarship to Emory to get her master’s in Nursing, around ’84, didn’t know her way around, typical immigrant story, $10 in her pocket, just worked super hard, man. My father came once she was done. He bought into a shoe repair franchise called Hakky Shoe Repair Shop, actually out in Kennesaw at Town Center Mall, and so I grew up right in Atlanta, off North Druid Hills, Buford Highway, for those of you all listening from Atlanta. We moved to Gwinnett County when I was 10 years old, that’s when I joined the GFL Brookwood Football and we didn’t even know, we had no clue that this was like this powerhouse football program but I was blessed to be in a great community, man. Met my Little League coach there who just was diehard Georgia fan. His son was the quarterback, I played running back, and he took me–
– So you started out as a running back?
– Yeah started out as a running back. I actually started out as a offensive lineman, I don’t tell anybody that. My first year, I didn’t know anything, man, I didn’t know any better, but as I grew and as I learned I became a running back and we went to my first University of Georgia game and that’s when like that dream was really planted, and from then on, I was like that diehard fan, listening to Larry Munson, watching David Greene, and Pollack and Thomas Davis, and that was just my dream to be that next kid out out of Snellville, to be the hometown legend, man, and so, fast-forward to high school. Didn’t really get along with my coach my freshman year, got moved to linebacker, got pissed off, pretty much, and started hitting everything moving, and it just–
– It’s like Waterboy .
– That’s what I tell people, it’s like Waterboy, literally. So I just developed this mentality, man, where I just tried to turn myself into this machine and at the same time going through high school, I faced a recruiting whole experience where I was told time after time that I was under-size, too short to play in the SEC, and that just motivated me, that along with my parents, their work ethic, seeing just the struggles that they went through. During the time that I was born, by the way, there was a civil war taking place in their home country of Liberia. So that was a big part of my foundation was seeing all the sacrifices that they made. Sending everything that they made back home. You know, building themselves not just for themselves but for their family, and I took a lot of that with me on the field and was fortunate enough to overcome those obstacles, being under-size, family situation of obstacles, and was able to get that scholarship to University of Georgia, man.
– So how did you use that? So, like a lot of times, no matter what industry you’re in, you’re gonna have people that are telling you you’re not good enough, you’re not tall enough, you’re not, whatever, whatever, you’re not good-looking enough, right, whatever, whatever it might be, how were you able to overcome that and find that within, that like, “You know what? “I’m not gonna listen to that. “I can do this.”
– Right, I mean, the big part of it is my foundation. I had a strong foundation of faith, a strong foundation of just heritage, knowing who I was. My parents did such an amazing job, and my grandparents, my great-grandfather was a Methodist bishop in Liberia, but I knew my heritage, I knew that my great-grandfather was a chief, I knew all these things that just gave me self-empowerment. And beyond that, like I said, my faith, I knew that my strength came from God, not from me, and I just worked hard, man