Rutgers Commit Russell Eyes Spring Enrollment

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School linebacker Brandon Russell has his sights set on early enrollment at Rutgers after making a verbal commitment at the start of the summer. One of the impact players for defending small-school national champion, Russell discussed early enrollment and his first two games of the year.

Rutgers has one early enrollee already set in cornerback Kam Lott and will be getting a second in linebacker Brandon Russell if everything goes according to plan.

After conversations with the Rutgers coaching staff and his family, the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School linebacker commit will pursue a spring enrollment.

"I'm working on joining for early enrollment now, but we just started really looking at it," Russell said. "I was just talking to the coaches about it and I'm very interested in heading in that direction. So far it looks good."

In the 2013 class, early enrolled defenders Nadir Barnwell and L.J. Liston are already seeing the benefits pay off with playing time as a true freshman.

Russell hopes to have the same experience by practicing with Rutgers in the spring and attending classes a semester early.

"It's about getting ahead in the classroom," Russell said. "I've only been to Jersey one time, you know, and it's going to be an adjustment. I'm going to college out of state. It's my first time really away. It's good getting adjusted to everything."

Russell and University school are off to a 2-0 start to the season, including a victory over Homestead on national television.

"It was an amazing experience because you don't really think about that in high school," Russell said. "I just treated it like another game. It was amazing to feel the love from the [Rutgers] fans. It just shows how the culture is up there and how special the organization is."

Taking a backseat in recruiting, Russell has had his eye on the Rutgers class and upcoming season. He met the recent commitment of cornerback Deion Hallmon with excitement, especially because Cyrpess Bay (Fla.) is on his schedule in two weeks.

Russell has not set an official visit but plans to get to campus in December and will be in Orlando, Fla., for the Thursday night showdown against UCF.

Celebrating his 18th birthday Monday, Russell is enjoying the benefits of his senior year at University School.

After transferring in last year, Russell said that head coach Roger Harriot's leadership has him confident in his ability to contribute at Rutgers.

"My time here has been amazing," Russell said. "The coaching staff is an amazing group of guys. I've never been on a team with so much talent. They're really family-oriented and I feel like that's why I love Rutgers so much. It's just like taking another step."

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