Junior QB Looks At Former AU Player As Model

Meridian quarterback Tyler Russell talks recruiting and about being compared to Jason Campbell.

Meridian, Miss.--When a quarterback has all the tools to be successful he's very easy to pick out of the crowd. That was the case Sunday in Mobile as Tyler Russell's 6-4 frame and smooth delivery made him one of the top performers at the Scout.com/UnderArmour Junior Combine at Ladd Peebles Stadium.

A physically gifted player, Russell is everything teams are looking for in a quarterback on the field as he shows a quick release and strong arm to go along with the ability to create room out of the pocket with his legs. Because of that he was one of the top performers on Sunday and he notes the chance to compete at that level was something he won't soon forget.

"It was a good experience," Russell says. "It gave me a chance to get my name out there and show people what I can do. I got to meet some cool people and compete against them. It was everything I expected. It was intense. I learned a lot. It was a lot of fun."

Measuring in at 6-4, 190 pounds, Russell says his best 40-yard dash time is 4.8 seconds, but that hasn't kept him from making plays with his legs as well as throwing the football. In his first season as a starter last year for Meridian, Russell threw for 2,481 yards and 26 touchdowns with seven rushing touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He says right now his best attribute as a quarterback is his ability to see the entire field.

"My strength is sitting in the pocket reading the defense and picking teams apart," Russell says. "That's what I do the best."

Helping his team to a deep playoff run last season after losing 16 starters from the previous year, Russell is quickly becoming a hot commodity in recruiting circles with several teams already showing interest before his junior year is even complete.

"I'm hearing a lot from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, the University of Virginia, the University of Connecticut, and several smaller schools. I'm still looking at all of them, but I would like to stay in the SEC somewhere."

Russell says one of the places he could see himself playing is Auburn because of the success the program has had. Auburn is also the college where a player he admires was a star. As a native of Mississippi, Russell says he's followed the career of current Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell and now he's being compared to the former Taylorsville, Miss., star.

"I grew up watching him and a lot of people compare me to him," Russell says. "I just like his poise in the pocket and his demeanor. He just sits back and reads the defense and throws the ball, but he can run when he has to."

Playing on a team with several players who will likely be prospects for 2009, Russell is the type of player both on the off the field that will have success and if he follows in Campbell's footsteps that should mean big things for Meridian in 2008.

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