At the center of the offense, Rainey using more than just a celebration in successful senior season

Senior center Curtis Rainey celebrates every offensive touchdown by lifting the scorer in the air. 

Ryan Kostensky

In football, the center position is the only position that touches the ball on every play they’re in. Amidst their resurgence from the abyss that was 2017, Georgia Southern’s offensive line is led by the senior Curtis Rainey at center.

The Eagles have seen a total makeover of their offense from last season to now, and with all the scoring comes the celebration from the players, and although the NCAA doesn’t allow a lot of celebrations, players get creative to express themselves.

Rainey has his own celebration, picking up the player who just scored as a way to congratulate them for scoring. He talked about what the celebration meant, and the importance behind it.

“It’s kind of a way, since I play o-line, our whole job is to basically protect and make sure the other guys get there,” Rainey said. “Get the ball, you know, score and everything. It’s kind of my tribute to them, they scored so give them their moment to shine.”

Raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Rainey has been a key cog for the Eagles on the offensive line, starting all 12 games in each of the last two seasons after significant playing time his freshman year.

Like many collegiate athletes, Rainey started playing football at a young age, in middle school to be exact, but he wasn’t able to start at a younger age because he was always bigger than the other kids. 

“I started playing football in middle school,” Rainey said. “That was my first real interaction with football, I couldn’t play pop warner because of my weight, they didn’t have non-weight limit teams so I just started playing in middle school.”

Rainey went on to mention that his first love wasn’t actually football, but instead it was another sport.

“I was a big basketball guy,” Rainey said. “That’s basically what I started playing, that was my first-love type deal.”

The senior center is one of the most experienced players on the GS roster, going through the ups and downs that the program has faced recently, so when asked about what his favorite memory of his career up to this point, Rainey echoed the sentiments of his fellow teammates, talking about how the bowl game was his favorite.

“Definitely the bowl game,” Rainey said. “That was just a big stand up moment for Georgia Southern, so it was a great experience.”

As for hobbies and things he does for fun, the senior talked about football, insinuating that it was his hobby.

“Football is basically all I do,” Rainey said.

Rainey and the Eagles look to become bowl eligible by winning at New Mexico State on Saturday, kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Eastern.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, [email protected]