ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran said Sunday he'll enter the NFL draft, the second member of the Bulldogs' defense to leave school a year early.
The 5-foot-11, 225-pound Curran led the Southeastern Conference with 130 tackles this past season and was named to The Associated Press All-SEC team. He finished his three-year career with 298 tackles.
Curran follows safety Reshad Jones, who announced last week that he's giving up his final year to enter the draft.
"This has been a really difficult decision," said Curran, a native of suburban Atlanta. "I love the Bulldogs and my time at Georgia has been great. But weighing all the factors over the last couple of weeks, I finally reached the decision Saturday that entering the NFL draft this year is the right decision for me at this time."
He was the first Georgia defender to have back-to-back seasons with at least 100 tackles since Greg Bright in 1996-97. Curran had a career-high 16 stops against LSU and tallied 15 tackles in an upset of then-No. 7 Georgia Tech.
"Rennie has been a cornerstone of our defense over the last couple years and even as a freshman, made tremendous contributions," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think our team's fondness for Rennie was demonstrated by his election by his teammates as one of our permanent defensive captains for 2009. He will be sorely missed not only on the field but in the locker room and at the university. We certainly wish him the very best."
Curran appeared in 37 games for the Bulldogs, including 30 starts. He's projected as a mid-round draft pick, possibly going as high as late in the second.