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Aaron Curry

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 254 | College: Wake Forest
 
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Overview

The 2008 Butkus Award winner, given to the nation's top linebacker, Curry so impressed the award's namesake that Dick Butkus surprised him in early December when he arrived on campus to personally hand the award to its recipient.

Curry started 49 of the 51 games he appeared in, going on to rank third in school annals with 45.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The All-American defender also finished ninth on Wake Forest's all-time record list with 332 total tackles.

Curry outstanding field vision and ball awareness skills saw him not only wreak havoc in the opposition's backfield on the blitz, but also excel in pass coverage. He returned three of his four interceptions for touchdowns as a junior, tying the NCAA single-season record for linebackers that was first set by Malcolm Postell of Pittsburgh, who also had three in 2004. Only cornerback Deltha O'Neal of California scored more on interception returns in a season (four in 1999) in major college annals.

Curry gained a total of 226 yards on those interception returns in 2007, setting the school and Atlantic Coast Conference single-season records. He was just the third player in league annals to gain more than 200 yards on interception returns in a season. His 226 yards placed fifth in NCAA history, becoming the 10th college player to gain more than 200 yards.

At E.E. Smith High School, Curry was a standout outside linebacker and tight end. He was named Conference Defensive Player of the Year and also earned All-Conference and All-Region honors after registering 123 tackles during his senior year. He was selected to the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl as a tight end.

Curry was the prize recruit from Wake Forest's 2004 class, but spent the season performing on the scout team. He entered 2005 fall camp behind Caron Bracy and James Adams at strong-side outside linebacker, but emerged as the starter at that position for 10 games, earning Freshman All-American second-team honors. He collected 45 tackles (28 solos) with a 15-yard sack and 7.5 stops for losses. He also blocked a punt that he recovered for a 13-yard return.

Curry started all 14 games at strong-side linebacker in 2006. He finished second on the squad with 83 tackles (52 solos), including 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and three sacks. His first career interception came vs. Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, returning the ball 30 yards to set up a scoring drive.

Curry was named second-team All-American in 2007, twice receiving ACC Player of the Week honors. The strong-side linebacker started 12 games, snapping a sting of 30 consecutive starts when he came off the bench vs. Navy (was punished by the coaching staff for missing class prior to that contest). He delivered 99 tackles (61 solos) with three sacks and led the team with 13.5 stops for loss. His 226 yards via four interception returns set the school single-season record, as his 84-yard run back vs. Army was the fifth-longest interception return in Demon Deacon history.

The All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice led the team with a career-high 105 tackles (66 solos). The Butkus Award winner also paced the defense with 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, adding 2.5 sacks with an interception, as he also recovered three fumbles, caused another and broke up three passes.

Analysis

Positives: Strongly-built with long arms to keep himself off offensive linemen when playing against the run. Very smooth in pass drops, staying low in his backpedal and getting into depth at the proper angles. Good hands for the interception, and can break up passes using his hands or a big hit over the middle. Plays the nine-technique very well, ripping off the tackle's block and getting to the ballcarrier on inside and outside runs. Also closes on the ball quickly when playing in the stack. Able to shed blocks and go through backs on blitzes. Will pop the fullback and create a pile to stuff inside runs. Shows good awareness on misdirection, quickly diagnosing plays and affecting the success of the play. Gets a lot of attention from opponents on special teams because of his size, speed and aggressiveness in kick return coverage.

Negatives: A bit stiff in the upper body, he tends to succeed most in straight-line situations rather than changing directions quickly. Can get to the quarterback on the blitz but doesn't always make the play. Doesn't explode into tackles consistently, using his long arms to try and wrap up.

Compares To: DERRICK JOHNSON, Kansas City -- Like the Chiefs finally realized with Johnson, hopefully the NFL team that drafts Curry will do likewise and play him in the middle. He has very good athleticism making plays in front of him, but bites often on play-action, lacks good depth playing in the zone and is a bit too stiff to generate the sideline-to-sideline range to make impact plays on the outside, where he struggles to stop the runner's forward momentum. He can clog the rush lanes when he stays low in his pads. Put him inside in a 3-4 alignment and he can be equally productive getting to the quarterback as he did in college. Play him on the outside and he will be exposed in a quick and deep passing game.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT GRADE: 6.86

Body Structure: Curry has a tall frame with good arm and leg length. He has broad shoulders and thick legs, demonstrating above average weight room and playing strength. He has thick thighs and calves and tight midsection, hips and waist.

Athletic Ability: Curry has good quickness, feet and agility, with a strong straight-line burst, but lacks the fluid hips to generate quick lateral movement. He shows good acceleration closing on plays in front of him, but displays just adequate change of direction agility. He is a good athlete for the strong-side linebacker position, where he is best when working uncovered. He is a normal strider who plays with good knee bend, but shows some upper body stiffness that is evident when he fails to recover when over-pursuing on play-action fakes. GRADE: 7.0

Football Sense: Curry is a field smart player that reads keys well, but shows some inconsistency with his instincts. He understands game situations, but can be fooled by misdirection and play-action fakes. He retain plays after normal reps, but must be more alert to side blocks, as tight ends have good success pushing him back inside, where he can be absorbed by the bigger offensive linemen. He does well in school (was suspended for part of the 2007 Navy game for missing classes) and the mental side of the game should not cause many problems, but he needs to take better angles in pursuit, as teams have success when bouncing their running game outside. GRADE: 6.2

Character: Curry is very humble and polite off the field and has never had any trouble away from the game. He comes from a supportive family and has no known off-field issues. He is active within the community and is a good representative for the program. He recently showed his great character when he invited a 12-year-old leukemia victim to be his guest at the 2009 NFL Draft festivities in New York. GRADE: 7.2

Competitiveness: Curry is a good competitor who plays with aggression, but can get a bit reckless in his play, taking sloppy pursuit angles. He takes pride in his leadership role and despite his blue chip status, is a very team-oriented player. He plays with nice effort and shows urgency running to the ball. He displays toughness taking on blocks, but needs to be more physical using his hands to prevent blockers from kicking him back inside when playing on the edge (susceptible to side blocks). GRADE: 6.8

Work Habits: It is no secret that Curry spends quite a few hours in the weight room. He is a coachable sort who will take on any assignment the coaches ask. He is a self-made type that does the little extras on his own. It is not uncommon to find him putting in the extra hours in the film room, preparing for his next opponent. GRADE: 7.1

ATHLETIC REPORT: GRADE: 7.00

Key and Diagnostic Skills: Curry is quick to read, but is inconsistent to react (sometimes takes that extra second to digest and is late to make a jump on the ball). When he gets into position in time, he will generally make the play. He gets fooled often by play-action and lacks great pass coverage skills, as short-area receivers had good success on him last year (on 45 plays vs. the pass, the opposition completed 32 throws (71.1 percent) for 239 yards and four touchdowns in 2008). He tracks the ball better vs. inside running plays than in pass coverage and needs to make better adjustments on the move. Once he locates the ball, he does a good job of closing with speed. Some scouts like him as a middle linebacker, citing a concern about his lateral range. He can close and impact from the outside, but he might be a more disruptive force attacking from the inside. He is capable of handling the mental aspect of making the calls and lining up his teammates. GRADE: 6.4

Playing Strength and Explosion: Curry likes to line up close to the line of scrimmage, where he can use his explosion and burst to avoid blocks and cause havoc in the backfield. He has no problems when he has to face up, as he makes it tough for bigger blockers to handle him when he uses his athleticism to slip past linemen, but he needs to display better hand usage and strength to shed and keep blockers off his body, especially when pinched back inside. He will sometimes throw a shoulder, but he is most effective executing his punishing arm swipes to split double teams. He displays the lower body power to step up and fill the inside rush lanes, again a strong aspect for a potential move to middle linebacker. When he plays at a good pad level, he can keep containment with leverage on the tight end. GRADE: 8.2

Lateral Pursuit/Range: When Curry gets a clear lane up the middle, he shows excellent ability to run through traffic and avoid blocks to penetrate. His athleticism and speed allows him to make plays in space, but if he has to change direction suddenly he lacks the fluid hips to recover. He does play to the flow of the ball when working down the line and is light on his feet, but you can see the stiffness in his upper body when having to flip to the outside and generate long pursuit. He uses his hands well to play off low blocks, but when he out-runs a play on occasion he does not have that great balance needed to quickly recover, bounce back up and make the play. His speed allows him to cut off the runners in the backfield, but when operating at the corner he does not take great angles and must develop better sideline-to-sideline range. GRADE: 6.0

Use of Hands: Curry shows good hand usage to mirror and ride the hip of the tight end and backs in the short-area passing game. He has more than enough hand strength to shed blocks. When he extends his hands, he can use his speed to separate from the blocker. He has natural hands for the interception, timing his leaps to get to the ball at the high point while catching away from the body's framework. GRADE: 8.3

Tackling Ability: Curry is a solid drag-down tackler, but will sometimes play out of control and over-pursue. In the open, he is not very effective at bringing his arms to wrap and secure, as he will get too high in his stance to impede the ball carrier's forward momentum and must be more conscious of taking out the runner's outside leg. He shows good pop on contact and can break down and face up, but for a player with his impressive power you would expect him to be a much bigger impact hitter. GRADE: 6.7

Run Defense: Curry is much more effective stepping up and clogging the rush lanes that generating pursuit vs. outside runs. He is stout at the point of attack and can take on and shed blockers in front of him, but lacks a great feel for tight ends executing side blocks. When he gets too high in his stance, he has some problems getting over trash. Thanks to his good upper body strength and hand jolt, he consistently is able to stack and control when taking on linemen. He needs to do a better job of maintaining leverage and keeping containment vs. the outside run, as he does not really show the loose hips to generate the range and speed to make plays along the sidelines. He can cover the field quickly on plays in front of him, but does look a bit stiff when trying to turn and run to the ball and making tackles in space (had problems giving long chase last year). GRADE: 7.3

Pass Defense: Curry's Achilles heel is his penchant to bite often on play-action fakes. He lacks good depth in his pass drops, but does a good job of eyeballing the quarterback and getting a jump on plays in front of him. Still, teams completed 71.1 percent of their passes into his area in 2008. He just does not have the hip flexibility to turn and drop with proper angle and depth. He has a better feel for pass coverage in the short area, another reason to view him more as an inside linebacker than on the strong-side. GRADE: 6.3

Zone Defense: Curry knows how to settle in zones and keeps his head on a swivel, but just lacks the loose hips to turn and run on the deep patterns. He will allow his man to get separation on plays in the deep third of the zone and is better taking on receivers in front of him. He is just not effective enough to turn fluidly out of his backpedal, even when taking on tight ends. He does have a natural feel for the ball in flight, timing his leaps to get to the ball at its high point. He sees the big picture better playing in the short zone, when he can anticipate where the ball is going while maintaining tighter relationship with the receiver. GRADE: 6.2

Pass Rush and Blitz: Curry shows good explosion as a blitzer, but because of some lateral mobility stiffness he needs a clear lane to make plays in the backfield. He is better coming off the edge when he keeps his hands active, as he is susceptible to side blocks. When working in-line, he is better containing than pressing at the Xs, as he will get a bit upright and fails to protect himself from low blocks when on the move). He is consistent in getting good hand placement in order to shed, and he has that sudden burst needed to get upfield shooting the gaps when he plays at a low pad level. He closes with desire and even though he does not always take very good angles, he has the chase speed to compensate and make plays in the backfield (does need to improve his pass repertoire, as he relies too much on his speed). GRADE: 7.6

Compares To: DERRICK JOHNSON, Kansas City -- Like the Chiefs finally realized with Johnson, hopefully the NFL team that drafts Curry will do likewise and play him in the middle. He has very good athleticism making plays in front of him, but bites often on play-action, lacks good depth playing in the zone and is a bit too stiff to generate the sideline-to-sideline range to make impact plays on the outside, where he struggles to stop the runner's forward momentum. He can clog the rush lanes when he stays low in his pads. Put him inside in a 3-4 alignment and he can be equally productive getting to the quarterback as he did in college. Play him on the outside and he will be exposed in a quick and deep passing game.

OVERALL GRADE: 6.98

--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Curry started 49 of 51 games at strong-side outside linebacker … Recorded 332 tackles (207 solos) with 9.5 sacks for minus 69 yards, 45.5 stops for losses of 177 yards and eight quarterback pressures … His 332 tackles rank ninth in school history behind Ed Stetz ( 460, 1969-71), Carlos Bradley (426, 1978-80), Kevin Giles (403, 1991-94), Bill Armstrong (402, 1973-76), Kelvin Moses (391, 1994-99), Ernie Purnsley (385, 1985-88), Reggie McCummings (374, 1983-85) and Jimmie Simmons (346, 1984-87) … His 45.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage are topped only by Calvin Pace (56.0, 1999-2002) and Mike McCrary (46.0, 1989-92) on Wake Forest's all-time record list … Gained 278 yards on six interceptions, returning three for touchdowns … Only Randy Neal of Virginia (four, 1991-94) and Dustin Cohen of Miami, Ohio (four, 1996-99) had more interception returns for touchdowns by a linebacker in NCAA history … His 278 interception return yards shattered the old school career record of 176 yards by Ronnie Burgess (1981-84) … His three scores via interception returns in 2007 tied the NCAA single-season record for linebackers, matching Malcolm Postell of Pittsburgh (2004) and was one shy of the overall major college annual record of four by Deltha O'Neal of California in 1999 … His 226 interception return yards in 2007 surpassed the previous Atlantic Coast Conference record of 200 yards by Ken Swilling of Georgia Tech in 1989 and Terrell Buckley of Florida State in 2000 … His 226 yards returned marked the 10th time in NCAA history that someone led the nation in that category with more than 200 yards in returns … His 220 yards also shattered the old school single-season record of 128 yards by A.J. Greene in 1987 … Tied McCrary (1991) for eighth place on the school single-season record list with 16.0 tackles for loss in 2008.

2008 Season

All-American first-team selection by Pro Football Weekly, adding second-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, The Sporting News, Associated Press and Rivals.com … All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice … Recipient of the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker … Started all thirteen games at strong-side outside linebacker, as he led the team with a career-high 105 tackles (66 solos) and 16.0 stops for losses totaling 48 yards … Added 2.5 sacks for minus 16 yards and two pressures … Recovered three fumbles, advancing one 3 yards … Caused one fumble, deflected three passes and intercepted another for a 22-yard return … On 85 running plays he was involved in, the opposition gained 338 yards (3.98 ypc) with 22 first downs three touchdowns, as Curry made twelve third-down stops and one more on fourth-down, stopping runners three times for no gain … His opponents threw 45 passes into his area, completing 32 of those tosses (71.115) for 239 yards (7.47 yards per completion/5.31 yards per attempt), ten first downs and four touchdowns, as Curry made six third-down stops and another on fourth down in pass coverage … Collected eleven of his tackles inside the red zone, including six on goal line plays … Also recorded one tackle on the punt coverage unit.

2008 Game Analysis

Baylor … Curry led Wake Forest's defensive charge in their convincing 41-13 victory over Baylor … One of the game's captains, Curry led the Wake Forest defense with seven tackles (5 solos), including 1.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and added 0.5 sack … In the opening minutes of the first quarter, Curry registered his first tackle of the season when he brought down tailback Jay Finley after a 3-yard gain … In the opening minute of the second quarter, the linebacker dropped Finley for a 1-yard loss at the Baylor 36-yard line … Near the end of the second quarter, Curry tackled Finley for only a 1-yard gain at the Wake Forest 35-yard line, but not before the running back was able to convert the fourth-down play … In the opening minute of the second half, the linebacker leveled quarterback Robert Griffin after a 2-yard gain to Wake Forest's 32-yard line … Later in the quarter, Curry tackled Finley at the Baylor 10-yard line after a 6-yard gain … At the 7:36 mark in the third quarter, Curry registered his first sack of the season when he corralled Griffin for a 2-yard loss on third down, forcing a Baylor punt … Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright was able to convert a 2nd-&-6 play with a 6-yard run before Curry and a teammate could bring him down … A few minutes into the fourth quarter, Curry was flagged for a personal foul during punt-coverage duties, giving 15 extra yards to the Baylor offense … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#32-Jay Finley (5:11-205)-10 carries for 22 yards, one catch for 26 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made six tackles vs. the run, netting the offense only 17 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 94 yards on 34 carries (2.76 ypc) … He added one third-down sack for a loss of 2 yards … Curry was involved in one fourth-down play, as the defense allowed 250 total yards on 64 plays (3.91 yards per play) … The opposition completed 15-of-30 passes for 156 yards and two interceptions.

Mississippi … Curry had a relatively quiet afternoon in Wake Forest's exciting 30-28 come-from-behind victory over Ole Miss, registering just five tackles (4 solos) in the Demon Deacon's home opener … The linebacker made three stops in the first quarter, holding tailback Cordera Eason to a 4-yard gain early in the stanza, allowing quarterback Jevan Snead to convert a 3rd-&-6 with a 6-yard run up the middle of the defense, and dropping Eason after the running back picked up just 1 yard after securing a pass from Snead … In the opening minute of the third quarter, Curry tackled Eason at Wake Forest's 44-yard line, following the tailback's 4-yard run over right guard … In the game's final stanza, Curry leveled Snead after the signal-caller was able to run for 3 yards to convert a 3rd-&-2 play … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#25-Cordera Eason (5:10-224)-eight carries for 18 yards, four catches for 26 yards and one touchdown … Defensive Impact: Curry made four tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 17 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 107 yards on 29 carries (3.69 ypc) … The opposition completed 1-of-1 passes thrown into his area for 1 yard … Curry was involved in two third-down plays, as the defense allowed 360 total yards on 62 plays (5.81 yards per play) … The opposition completed 20-of-33 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions.

Florida State … In a battle of field-goal kickers, No. 18 Wake Forest defeated No. 24 Wake Forest, 12-3, in Tallahassee, as the Demon Deacon defense held the Seminoles to just 220 total yards, thanks in large part to Curry, who finished the game with eight tackles (5 solos), one fumble recovery, and one interception, which he returned for 22 yards … Early in the first quarter, Curry stopped FSU tailback Antone Smith after a 5-yard gain, followed, one play later, by the linebacker's recovery of Smith's fumble at the Seminole's 27-yard line. Wake Forest was unable to come up with points, however, as kicker Sam Swank's field goal attempt sailed wide right … Later in the quarter, Curry tackled wide receiver Preston Parker after a 2-yard run … Smith was stopped after a 2-yard gain by Curry in the opening minutes of the second quarter, followed later in the stanza by the linebacker's tackle of Christian Ponder, who gain just 1 yard on a quarterback sneak … In the opening minutes of the third quarter, quarterback D'Vontrey Richardson was dropped by Curry for a 1-yard loss during a rush over right end, causing the Seminoles to punt from their own 14-yard line … .Later in the quarter, however, Richardson was able to pick up 10 yards on a quarterback draw before Curry was able to bring him down … In the four quarter, Curry stopped Smith for a 1-yard gain over left end, followed later in the period by a tackle of Richardson, who gained just 5 yards on a 3rd-&-9 play. On fourth down, Richardson's pass to wide receiver Taiwan Easterling fell incomplete, giving the ball back to Wake Forest on downs … With less than three minutes remaining in the game, Curry intercepted a Richardson pass and returned it 22 yards to the FSU 11-yard line, setting up Swank's 31-yard field goal and increasing Wake Forest's lead to 12-3 … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#6-Antone Smith (5:09-190)-eight carries for 24 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made eight tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 25 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 102 yards on 28 carries (3.64 ypc) … Curry was involved in two third-down plays, as the defense allowed 220 total yards on 64 plays (3.44 yards per play) … The opposition completed 12-of-36 passes for 118 yards, with five interceptions.

Navy … Curry and fellow linebacker Chantz McClinic tied for a team-high 10 tackles, but it wasn't enough to keep the Navy Midshipmen from upsetting No. 15 Wake Forest, 24-17 … Of Curry's 10 tackles, six were solo stops and three occurred behind the line of scrimmage … In the opening minutes of the first quarter, Curry tackled tailback Cory Finnerty for a 2-yard loss at the Wake Forest goal line … Later in the quarter, the linebacker registered five tackles during one series; however, one of those tackles came after allowing Navy quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada to pick up 6 yards on a 3rd-&-3 play inside the red zone … Curry picked up two tackles for losses in the second quarter, when he stopped Kaheaku-Enhada and wide receiver Jarod Bryant for 1-yard losses … In the fourth quarter, the linebacker tallied three tackles, but one of those came after fullback Eric Kettani gained 57 yards on a run up the gut of the defense … Rush Coverage Assignment: FB#36-Eric Kettani (6:00-231)-19 carries for 175 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made 10 tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 87 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 292 yards on 59 carries (4.95 ypc) … Curry made three stops for losses and was involved in one third-down play, as the defense allowed 343 total yards on 63 plays (5.44 yards per play) … The opposition completed 3-of-4 passes for 51 yards.

Clemson … Curry racked up nine tackles (4 solos) and the Wake Forest defense held the Clemson offense to just 198 total yards as the Demon Deacons escaped with a narrow 12-7 victory … Said Curry of the defensive effort, "Tonight we played with attitude. We played in a bad mood, but we were having fun. I had a great time. It's no better than coming out on Thursday night under the lights and being able to play the game you love. I express that on the field, just playing, flying around hitting everything that has the ball. Just having a lot of fun. It was very physical. The whole week the game plan was to come out there and be aggressive and be very physical and just dominate out front. If you don't get them out early, you might not ever catch them" … In the early portion of the first quarter, Curry stopped running back C.J. Spiller for no gain at the Clemson 20-yard line, followed by his tackle for no gain of wide receiver Aaron Kelley on third down, inducing Clemson to punt the ball away … Midway through the second quarter, Curry tackled Spiller after the tailback gained 10 yards and picked up a first down, and stopped tailback James Davis for a 2-yard gain later in the drive … Near the end of the first half, Curry stopped Aaron Kelly for a 4-yard gain after the receiver hauled in a Cullen Harper pass … Early in the second half, Curry tackled receiver Jacoby Ford for no gain, but the play was nullified by a Clemson holding penalty. Later in the drive, the linebacker again tackled Ford, this time after the receiver picked up 10 yards on a screen pass from Cullen Harper, and limited tailback James Davis to 7 yards on a reception over the middle … Curry tallied two tackles in the fourth quarter, limiting Davis to rushing gains of 6 and 4 yards … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#1-James Davis (5:11-215)-12 carries for 25 yards, two catches for 27 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made five tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 22 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 21 yards on 23 carries (0.91 ypc) … The opposition completed 4-of-4 passes thrown into his area for 21 yards … Curry made two stops for no gain and was involved in one third-down play, as the defense allowed 198 total yards on 58 plays (3.41 yards per play) … The opposition completed 15-of-35 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.

Maryland … Curry served, once again, as a Wake Forest captain and finished the game with a season-high 11 tackles (7 solos), which was one of few highlights in Wake's 26-0 shutout loss to Maryland … The linebacker limited Maryland's star wide receiver, Darrius Heyward-Bey, to gains of just 9 and 1 yard on two first-quarter receptions … In the second quarter, Curry registered three tackles, limiting wide receiver Danny Oquendo to a 1-yard rush and tight end Dan Gronkowski to two 6-yard receptions … Early in the third quarter, Curry tackled tailback Da'Rel Scott, who gained only 1 yard following a reception on a 3rd-&-5 play in the red zone … Later in the third quarter, Curry tackled Heyward-Bey for a 2-yard loss following a reception, and made stops on rushing gains of 5 and 3 yards … During one drive in the fourth quarter, the linebacker brought down tailback Davin Meggett after a 4-yard rush, and followed that up with another stop, though not before Meggett picked up 10 yards … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#23-Da'Rel Scott (5:11-192)-18 carries for 73 yards, one catch for 1 yard … Defensive Impact: Curry made five tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 23 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 140 yards on 33 carries (4.24 ypc) … The opposition completed 6-of-6 passes that were thrown into his area for 21 yards … Curry made one stop behind the line of scrimmage, one tackle in the red zone, and one tackle on third down, as the defense allowed 470 total yards on 75 plays (6.27 yards per play) … The opposition completed 29-of-42 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns.

Miami … The Wake Forest defense held Miami to just 296 total yards of offense, Curry contributing six tackles (5 solos), a sack, and a pass deflection, but the Demon Deacons fell for the second-straight week, losing to the Hurricanes, 16-10 … Curry made two tackles in the first quarter, stopping tailback Graig Cooper for 2- and 1-yard gains … The linebacker picked up three more tackles in the last six minutes of the first half, bringing down QB Jacory Harris 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage, making a stop on the punt-coverage team, and tackling Cooper at the Miami 6-yard line for a 1-yard loss … Curry's lone sack of the game occurred during the opening minutes of the second half, when he dropped quarterback Robert Marve for a 10-yard loss at Wake Forest's 24-yard line … Later in the quarter, Curry was guilty of an offside penalty, and, in the fourth quarter, the linebacker deflected a Marve pass that was intended for wide receiver Aldarius Johnson … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#2-Graig Cooper (6:00-202)-12 carries, 27 yards, one catch for 2 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made four tackles vs. the run, which resulted in -1 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 102 yards on 33 carries (3.09 ypc) … The opposition completed 0-of-1 passes that were thrown into his area … Curry registered one sack, made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, broke up one pass, and made one tackle on special teams, as the defense allowed 296 total yards on 61 plays (4.85 yards per play) … The opposition completed 15-of-28 passes for 194 yards.

Duke … Curry finished with a career-high 16 tackles to lead the Wake Forest defense, which came up big in the Demon Deacon's thrilling 33-30 victory over the Blue Devils … Curry, who had one tackle for a loss that increased his career total to 38.5, placing him sixth all-time in Wake Forest History, injured his shoulder with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter but returned shortly after the play and remained in the game till the end … Said head coach Jim Grobe of his game captain's gutsy performance, "I've never been more impressed with the effort of a player. I think he was banged up tonight. On one play, it took him a while to get off the field and there were three or four times in the fourth quarter when they were running the football, it was his responsibility to step up into the gap and take those guys on and he didn't back down a bit. He really responded like champion. A couple of times, he made a couple of really big plays coming off the backside. We really needed him at the end and he was there because he's such a tough guy" … Early in the first quarter, Curry made four stops on one Duke drive, two vs. the run and two vs. the pass, including one stop of running back Jay Hollingsworth at Wake Forest's 6-yard line following a 2-yard reception. However, the linebacker was guilty of allowing a 14-yard completion from QB Thaddeus Lewis to tight end Brett Huffman that resulted in a first down … Near the end of the first quarter, Curry corralled wide receiver Eron Riley after a 1-yard gain on 3rd-&-3, inducing a Duke punt, which was blocked for a safety that gave Wake Forest a 9-7 lead … In the second quarter, Curry allowed Riley to pick up 4 yards on a 3rd-&-4 play for a first down and, later in the quarter, the linebacker was charged with a 15-yard penalty when he interfered with a fair catch during punt-coverage duties … With 6:26 remaining in the quarter, Curry sniffed out a reverse and stopped multi-purpose back Donovan Varner behind the line of scrimmage for an 8-yard loss … Midway through the third stanza, Curry gave up a 20-yard completion to Johnny Williams, setting up the Duke offense at Wake Forest's 35-yard line … On Duke's next drive, the linebacker broke up a pass intended for Varner and stopped Zack Asack for a 1-yard gain on a quarterback draw, but a personal foul by Curry's teammate would move the ball to the Wake Forest 27-yard line … On a drive that started at the end of the third quarter, Curry tackled Hollingsworth for no gain at the Wake Forest 10-yard line, but the linebacker was flagged for being offside. Later in the drive, Curry stopped tailback Clifford Harris after a 3-yard gain on 3rd-&-goal at the Wake Forest 5-yard line, limiting Duke to a field goal … Curry made three stops in a fourth-quarter drive that started at the 10:16 mark, limiting Hollingsworth to runs of 4, 4, and 8 yards, but, later in the quarter, the linebacker allowed Hollingsworth to pick up 14 yards on one rush and, with Curry in coverage, Thaddeus Lewis completed a 12-yard pass to Huffman, both of which resulted in first downs … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#25-Tony Jackson (5:10-185)-12 carries for 63 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made 10 tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 35 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 145 yards on 37 carries (3.92 ypc) … The opposition completed 6-of-7 passes that were thrown into his area for 53 yards … Curry registered two goal-line tackles, made three stops on third down, tallied one tackle for a loss, and broke up one pass, as the defense allowed 376 total yards on 64 plays (5.88 yards per play) … The opposition completed 19-of-27 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions.

Virginia … Curry had a solid afternoon in Wake Forest's 28-17 victory over Virginia in Winston-Salem, registering five tackles (4 solos), including 2.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, 1 forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one passed break up, and one QB pressure … The game captain was active in the first quarter, forcing and recovering running back Cedric Peerman's fumble midway through the stanza. Later in the quarter, Curry pressured Virginia quarterback Marc Verica, whose pass was intercepted by defensive tackle Boo Robinson, setting up Wake Forest's second touchdown of the afternoon … Later in the first quarter, the Deacon linebacker dropped Peerman for a 1-yard loss after he hauled in a pass from Verica, followed by a third-down pass deflection later in the drive that induced Virginia to punt the ball away … Late in the second quarter, wide receiver Cary Koch caught a pass from Verica, but was limited to just 3 yards by Curry … Midway through the third quarter, Curry allowed Koch to turn a reception into a 17-yard gain, but atoned for the poor coverage by tackling Verica 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage on a draw play on 3rd-&-goal from the Wake Forest 2-yard line, which was followed by the Cavaliers turning the ball over on downs when Cedric Peerman was dropped for a loss after catching a pass from Verica on fourth down … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#37-Cedric Peerman (5:10-208)-12 carries for 43 yards, three catches for -3 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made two tackles vs. the run, which resulted in -7 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 28 yards on 17 carries (1.65 ypc) … The opposition completed 3-of-4 passes that were thrown into his area for 19 yards … Curry registered one quarterback pressure that led to an interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, one goal-line tackle, one tackle on third down, and one pass deflection on third down, as the defense allowed 307 total yards on 62 plays (4.95 yards per play) … The opposition completed 23-of-45 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns, with three interceptions.

North Carolina State … Game captain Aaron Curry registered one sack vs. N.C. State, giving him 9.5 for his career and placing him at No. 12 on Wake Forest's career sacks list, and finished with eight tackles (5 solos) and a quarterback pressure, but it wasn't enough to secure a victory, as the Wolfpack held off the Demon Deacons for a 21-17 win … In the first quarter, Curry tackled fullback Taylor Gentry after a 6-yard reception. Later in the quarter, the linebacker pressured quarterback Russell Wilson into throwing an incompletion and, on the same drive, tackled tailback Jamelle Eugene for a 2-yard loss and a 3-yard gain … Midway through the second quarter, Wilson completed a 6-yard pass to wide receiver Jarvis Williams with Curry in coverage. The quarterback also broke off runs of 23 and 7 yards before the linebacker could bring him down … In the fourth quarter, Curry registered his lone sack of the game, bringing down Wilson for a 5-yard loss on third down and forcing N.C. State to punt … With 4:36 remaining in the contest, Curry registered his last tackle of the game, a takedown of running back Andre Brown after a 6-yard gain … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#24-Andre Brown (6:00-228)-14 carries for 66 yards, three catches for 19 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made five tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 37 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 149 yards on 39 carries (3.82 ypc) … The opposition completed 2-of-2 passes that were thrown into his area for 12 yards … Curry registered one third-down sack, one quarterback pressure, and one tackle for a loss, as the defense allowed 301 total yards on 72 plays (4.18 yards per play) … The opposition completed 16-of-33 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

Boston College … The Wake Forest defense held Boston College to just 234 total yards and Curry finished the contest with 10 tackles (5 solos) and a fumble recover, but Eagle QB Dominique Davis snuck the ball across the goal line with just 1:12 remaining in the game for a 24-21 BC victory that dropped the Demon Deacons' record to a disappointing 6-5 … Near the end of the first quarter, the BC offense was able to convert two first downs vs. Curry, one on a third-down run and one via a 7-yard pass completion, but the linebacker came up big when the defense needed it, recovering a fumble and returning it to the Wake Forest 30-yard line … During a drive that started at the top of the second quarter, Curry was flagged for being offside, allowed a 21-yard completion to receiver Brandon Robinson, and gave up a 13-yard run by quarterback Chris Crane on a draw, before bringing down QB Dominique Davis for a 1-yard loss in the red zone … Later in the second quarter, Curry limited tailback Montel Harris to two 2-yard runs, forcing the Eagles to punt of fourth down … Early in the third quarter, Curry dropped running back Josh Haden for no gain and, later in the quarter, limited the tailback to a 2-yard gain … Curry capped his game with a tackle of Dominique Davis after a 4-yard reception … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#1-Josh Haden (5:08-182)-17 carries for 77 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made seven tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 22 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 97 yards on 44 carries (2.20 ypc) … The opposition completed 3-of-3 passes that were thrown into his area for 32 yards … Curry registered two third-down tackles, one tackle behind the line of scrimmage, one tackle for no gain, and one fumble recovery, as the defense allowed 234 total yards on 71 plays (3.30 yards per play) … The opposition completed 16-of-27 passes for 137 yards.

Vanderbilt … Curry turned in a relatively quiet performance in the Demon Deacons' 23-10 victory over Vanderbilt in the last game of the regular season, finishing with just six tackles (3 solos) … Early in the ballgame, Curry was flagged for a personal foul, which tacked on 15 yards following a 13-yard gain by wide receiver Jamie Graham … During a drive that started at the 10:33 mark in the second quarter, Curry tackled Graham for a 3-yard loss and, one play later, stopped quarterback Chris Nickson after a 4-yard gain on a 3rd-&-6 play, forcing Vandy to punt the ball away … Curry registered four tackles vs. the run in the second half, tackling tailback Kennard Reeves after runs of 9 and 5 yards, corralling quarterback Larry Smith for a 2-yard loss, and limiting wide receiver Sean Walker to 2 yards, although the latter did convert a first down on a 3rd-&-1 play … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#28-Kennard Reeves (6:00-202)-six carries for 33 yards, one catch for 1 yard … Defensive Impact: Curry made six tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 19 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 116 yards on 34 carries (3.41 ypc) … Curry registered two tackles on third down, one red-zone tackle, and one tackle behind the line of scrimmage, as the defense allowed 249 total yards on 69 plays (3.61 yards per play) … The opposition completed 14-of-35 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown, with two interceptions.

Navy (Eagle Bank Bowl) … Starting his third-consecutive bowl game, Curry contributed four tackles (3 solos) to the Demon Deacons' 29-19 comeback victory over Navy … In the first quarter, Curry limited fullback Eric Kettani to a 4-yard run and stopped tailback Shun White after a 4-yard gain, although the latter was enough to pick up a first down … Early in the second stanza, Curry dropped tailback Greg Shinego 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage … In the fourth quarter, the linebacker limited Kettani to a 2-yard gain inside the red zone … Rush Coverage Assignment: HB#26-Shun White (5:09-190)-14 carries for 71 yards … Defensive Impact: Curry made four tackles vs. the run, which resulted in 9 yards, and helped the defense hold the opposition to 221 yards on 48 carries (4.60 ypc) … Curry registered one third-down tackles, one tackle behind the line of scrimmage, and one tackle in the red zone, as the defense allowed 253 total yards on 55 plays (4.60 yards per play) … The opposition completed 2-of-7 passes for 32 yards, with one interception.

2007 Season

All-American second-team choice by College Sports Report … Added second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors … Started 12 of the 13 games he played in at strong-side linebacker … Played in reserve vs. Navy as punishment for missing class prior to the game, stopping a starting string of 30 consecutive games … Ranked second on the team with 99 tackles (61 solos) (61 solos) … Registered three sacks for minus 22 yards and paced the Demon Deacons with 13.5 stops for losses totaling 53 yards … Credited with four quarterback pressures … Caused two fumbles and deflected four passes … Intercepted four passes, setting school and conference single-season records with 226 yards in returns that included three touchdowns … His 226 yards surpassed the previous ACC record of 200 yards by Ken Swilling of Georgia Tech in 1989 and Terrell Buckley of Florida State in 2000 and also shattered the old school single-season record of 128 yards by A.J. Greene in 1987 … His three touchdown returns tied the NCAA single-season record for linebackers, matching Malcolm Postell of Pittsburgh (2004) and was one shy of the overall major college annual record of four by Deltha O'Neal of California in 1999.

2007 Game Analysis

Was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week after the North Carolina game when he had eight tackles (5 solos), a 5-yard sack and two interceptions for 89 yards, including an 84-yard return for a touchdown … Earned the ACC Defensive Back of the Week award for his efforts vs. North Carolina State, as made eight tackles and had a 57-yard interception return for a touchdown … Recorded eleven tackles (7 solos, taking down tailback Andre Callander for a 4-yard loss vs. Boston College … Caused a fumble and was in on nine hits, including one for a loss vs. Maryland … Tallied three tackles behind the line of scrimmage that included an 8-yard sack of QB Thaddeus Lewis, as he also made eight tackles in the Duke clash … Registered twelve tackles (6 solos) with a 7-yard sack, a forced fumble and 3.5 stops for losses of 13 yards vs. Navy … Produced thirteen tackles (10 solos) with a pass deflection, one pressure and two stops for losses vs. Vanderbilt … Made just three solo tackles vs. Connecticut in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, but two were for losses of 12 yards, including a 7-yard sack.

2006 Season

Curry started all fourteen games at strong-side linebacker, ranking second on the team with 83 tackles (52 solos) … Posted three sacks for minus 16 yards, tied for the team lead with 8.5 stops for losses of 36 yards and added one pressure … Deflected three passes and returned his first career interception 30 yards … Also caused two fumbles.

2006 Game Analysis

Made eight tackles (7 solos) with a pair of sacks for minus 10 yards and a forced fumble vs. Connecticut … Followed with five tackles (4 solos) and a 6-yard sack vs. Mississippi … Collected nine tackles and broke up a pass in each of the Clemson and North Carolina State contests … Posted six solo tackles that included a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. North Carolina … Added a pressure and ten tackles (5 solos) vs. Maryland, as he delivered five hits, including one for a 9-yard loss and also returned an interception 30 yards vs. Georgia Tech … Was in on six tackles (4 solos) and caused a fumble vs. Louisville in the Orange Bowl.

2005 Season

Attended Oklahoma (Edmond, Okla.) Christian School, playing basketball for his father, coach Tommy Griffin … The team won state titles each of his four seasons, compiling a 106-6 overall record during his prep career … Earned All-American second-team honors from EA Sports and third-team recognition from Parade … Both Rivals.com and Scout.com gave the senior forward a five-star prospect rating … Ranked as the country's third-best power forward by HoopScoop, sixth by Rivals.com and the seventh by Scout.com … Led the team to a 26-3 record as a senior by averaging 26.8 points, 15.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.9 blocks and 1.6 steals per game while shooting .718 from the field … Named the Class 2A State Tournament MVP after averaging 26.6 points per tourney game (team won its three games by an average of 30.3 points) … As a junior, Griffin registered 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks in an 81-50 state title game victory over Pawnee … For the season, he averaged 21.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists and was chosen the State Tournament MVP … After his final season, he competed in the McDonald's and Jordan Brand All-America Games.

2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

No major injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Combine: 4.52 in the 40-yard dash … 1.50 10-yard dash … 2.58 20-yard dash … 4.51 20-yard shuttle … 7.15 three-cone drill … 37-inch vertical jump … 10'4" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.

High School

Attended E.E. Smith (Fayetteville, N.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Mike Earwood … Standout outside linebacker and tight end … Named Conference Defensive Player of the Year and also earned All-Conference and All-Region honors after registering 123 tackles during his senior year … Selected to the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl as a tight end.

Personal

Sociology major … Son of Chris Curry … Brother, Patrick Pinkney, is a quarterback at East Carolina (2005-08) … Patrick's father is former East Carolina defensive back Reggie Pinkney (1974-76), a first-team All-Southern Conference performer who was a sixth-round

draft choice by the Detroit Lions in 1977 … Born 4/06/86 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

 
 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - BEST PICK: Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry. He was perhaps the best player in the draft, and Seattle got good value for him with the No. 4 overall pick. And Curry is a guy who will come in and contribute right away for Seattle, playing strong-side outside linebacker in Seattle's 4-3 scheme.

04/28/2009 - QUOTE TO NOTE: "We stayed true to our board, and we always like to do that. And it is easier to do that when you feel that you are not a hostage to need, which has been our theme and the way that we want to go through this, and that's what we did." - Seattle Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell commenting on the selection of Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.

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