However, he is a reader thanks to lessons he learned from his grandmother, who is a Pentecostal minister. "I am starting to read a lot more. My grandma reads a lot. I think I kind of picked that up from her. That's the one thing I have noticed more and more. If I don't have homework, then I am usually reading," he said. "My grandma kept me on the straight path. I went to her church. She's a good preacher and can get excited. But I always noticed how much she read."
"They help me when I mess up or when my focus is not where it should be they talk to me. If I need anything, they are there for me. They have all helped me a lot. I like all of them," Russell said. "I actually thought I was going to redshirt. I had a little more speed, so they (the coaches) thought I could help in the rotation. I am trying to learn and pick up on all those things they teach me. I go back and watch on film to see what I messed up on so I don't make the same mistake again.
"We have a lot of talent in our freshman class. You could see that the more you watched us play and practice. Actually, I've been surprised by the overall talent we have in our freshmen class. It's even better than I thought it was and it is great the way the older players help us all learn."
His idol was current Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. He learned his "downhill" running style by watching Peterson play on television. "I try to be just like him. Everybody wants to be like their idol, so I try to be a downhill runner. I am not as quick and fast as Locke and Smith, but I watch Moncell and he is short but he runs so hard that he is hard to tackle. I am trying to get that mentality to run downhill hard and aggressively. I am not dodging tackles. I know what I have to do," Russell said.