Seth Russell's career as a Baylor Bear is over, due to a broken and severely dislocated ankle he suffered Saturday against Oklahoma. The Bears lose their starting quarterback, but they also lose so much more. Russell was the leader of this football team, both on the field and off. Throughout the very challenging 2016, Russell has been the example for everything that is right about Baylor.
The Baylor Bears will turn to true freshman Zach Smith to take over at quarterback, now the lone scholarship quarterback on the roster. He will make his first career start this Saturday against Kansas State, the same team that last year saw Jarrett Stidham in the exact same type of situation after Russell went down with a broken bone in his neck.
That is how the Bears will replace him on the football field, which is difficult enough. How do the Bears replace his leadership and actions off the field? That might be impossible. This is a player that asked starting center Kyle Fuller to pop his ankle back in so that he could keep playing. Of course, Fuller agreed, until he saw the extent of the injury and wisely decided against the battlefield operation.
This is a player that was on a mission trip in Brazil when he found out about the firing of his coach, Art Briles. This is a player that battled back from major neck surgery to not only walk again, but start at quarterback at a power-five school and do it pretty dang well. This is a man, that even the terrible circumstances that have surrounded Baylor University and the football program the past year, has been THE example of everything right with Baylor.
Baylor will struggle to replace that, over the next few games, starting with senior day against Kansas State this coming Saturday.