Ronald Antonio Curry (born May 28, 1979 in Hampton, Virginia) is an American football wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders of the NFL. He was selected with the 24th pick of the seventh round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Although he was mainly a quarterback at North Carolina, he converted to a wide receiver to make the Oakland Raiders team. He was one of the star players for the Raiders in the 2004 NFL season, but was injured early in the 2005 season which made him miss most of it.
Curry was an All-American in basketball and football at Hampton High School in Hampton, Virginia, where he was awarded the Dial Award for the national high-school scholar-athlete of the year in 1997. He won the McDonalds Slam Dunk contest and was MVP of the McDonalds All-American game. By most reports, his high school football coach favored Curry attending Virginia and focusing on football while his high school basketball coach favored North Carolina to develop Curry into a prospect for the NBA. He verbally committed to play both basketball and football to the University of Virginia before signing instead with rival North Carolina. This made him a very unpopular figure among Virginia fans, who referred to him by such terms as "Benedict Curry", "Benedict Ronald", or "WHN" (an abbreviation of "What's his name?"), and voted to make him the "Sports Jerk of the Year" in the Tank McNamara comic strip. Ironically, Curry's cousin Almondo "Muffin" Curry, a cornerback, later decided to attend Virginia.
Ronald Curry broke several Virginia high-school football records while attending Hampton High School. He is considered one of the greatest Virginia high-school athletes ever, leading his school to three consecutive state titles in football from 1995 to 1997 and one in basketball in 1998. The 1996 Hampton High School football team went 14-0, outscoring opponents 768-83 including a 51-0 victory over a previously unbeaten team in the state championship, and is widely considered to be the best team in Virginia history; the 1997 team also went 14-0 and posted similar numbers. Curry also excelled at defensive back and kick returner in addition to his quarterbacking duties. Michael Vick was in the same district as Curry in high school and was overshadowed by the accomplishments of Curry's team. While Vick was also a highly touted prospect, Curry was almost universally rated high in recruiting rankings. In an interview, Michael Vick said "I felt pressure to compete against Ronald Curry."
At North Carolina, Curry set many records including most career passing yards and most career total yards. He was twice named the most valuable player of post-season bowl games, being named the MVP of the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl and the 2001 Peach Bowl. He also played basketball for two years along with Carolina Panthers Julius Peppers. Curry went through multiple football coaching changes. He played under 3 different offensive coordinators. In his senior season, his position coach was Gary Tranquill, who had joined the Tar Heels in 2001 after leaving the Virginia staff when Al Groh became coach. During an earlier stint with Virginia, Tranquill had been credited for developing standout quarterbacks Shawn Moore and Matt Blundin for the Cavaliers.