D.C. Receiver Russell Hoping For Illini Offer

Washington D.C. has been a hotbed for the Illini under Coach Zook, including current star Arrelious Benn and recent 1st round draft pick Vontae Davis. And the Illini continue to have a presence in the nation's capital. Alonzo Russell, a receiver at H. D. Woodson High School in D.C., hopes to impress the Illini coaching staff.

The Woodson High School Warriors won the DCIAA championship last season over Dunbar High School, 24-6. Despite losing a number of players to graduation, Alonzo Russell wants nothing less than another championship.

"We lost a lot of seniors last year, but a lot of our starters were juniors. We won the championship last year. Our expectation is to repeat as champions. We're in the middle of summer workouts right now.

The 6'-4", 185 pound wide receiver plays a variety of positions for his team, doing anything he can to help them continue to win.

"I played wide receiver and free safety last year. I'll be playing the same positions this year, and I'll also be the kick returner and punt returner. I'd like to do anything I can to help the team, but I have a personal goal to get 1500 yards this season."

Russell had an immediate answer when asked his strengths and weaknesses.

"My biggest strength is my hands, and my biggest weakness is my agility."

Russell grew up idolizing Michael Irvin and currently looks up to Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant. He has attracted the attention of BCS schools from the ACC, Big Ea st, and Big 10.

"Pittsburgh and West Virginia have offered me. Other schools who are interested in me are Illinois, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Louisville. All of the schools interested in me are looking at me as a wide receiver."

Russell wants to take some visits before he makes a final decision on a school, and Illinois is definitely a school he wants to check out. After all, he has several connections to the UI.

"I'm planning on taking a visit to Illinois. I'm not sure if it'll be before the season starts or on a game day. Coach Gilmore, the D-line coach, is my recruiting coach and he's a great guy. I mainly talk to Coach Gilmore, but I'm hoping to speak to Coach Zook soon. There are a couple of former Woodson players on the team, and I've talked to them about Illinois and recruiting."

Despite losing ace Washington D.C. recruiter Mike Locksley in the offseason, Russell still believes that Illinois will continue to recruit the area successfully.

"I still they'll be able to get recruits. Illinois has a presence here."

Academically, he will be taking the SAT in September. He missed his scheduled test date earlier in the year because of a family emergency.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories