Vital Data: In Russell, the Tigers get a capable, physical corner to suit the tastes of Nick Saban. He can deliver a big hit and had the quickness to close on the ball and make a big play. He made 44 tackles and pulled in nine interceptions in his senior year for head coach J.T. Curtis.
Russell was already a hot commodity when he turned in a 4.44-second time in the 40-yard dash at a Nike Combine. He was also measured at 31.7 inches in the vertical leap, leading more schools to take notice. He chose LSU with offers on the table from Michigan, Clemson, Southern Miss, Tulane and West Virginia.
Tiger Rag's take: You have to wonder if Saban will keep the lid on his freshman corners as long as he did Travis Daniels last season. In hindsight, Saban would have probably played Daniels sooner, so he may be more willing to give Russell and earlier look. Coach Curtis told Tiger Rag he believes Russell can be a contributor with a better chance of making an impact within a couple of years.
The Scoop: In a pre-season scrimmage against John Ehret, Russell was flagged for a personal foul on the very first play. He was later thrown out for fighting. "That's not me," he told Tiger Rag later in the season. "We're taught better than that." As his senior year unfolded, all signs pointed toward Russell playing a much more disciplined brand of football.