Tiger Rag saw Russell (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) in action most recently at the Partriots' pre-season scrimmage against John Ehret. On the first play of the scrimmage, Ehret's quarterback threw a pass to his receiver who had hooked just past the line of scrimmage. Just as the ball was getting there, so was Russell.
He plowed the receiver to the ground and let him know he would have more of the same to look forward to throughout the day. Unfortunately, an official was in earshot and flagged Russell for unsportsmanlike conduct. After incurring a 15-yard mark-off, Russell found himself playing with the second team the rest of the day.
But rather than mope about, Russell continued to play at a fever pitch in the 100-degree-plus conditions. Ehret succeeded with very few pass plays the remainder of the day. Through three games of the regular season, Russell has totaled one interception and 18 tackles for Curtis, the top-ranked team in Class 4A.
"I wanted to get this out of the way for my senior season," Russell told Bill Bumgarner of The Times-Picayune. "I believe coach Saban is building a national championship contender at LSU. He's going after the best players."
Russell is the second LSU commitment for 2002 from John Curtis. Patriots' running back Jason Spadoni pledged his word to the Tigers in May.
Russell chose LSU over West Virginia, Tulane and Southern Mississippi.