Russell follows Wheelwright to Minnesota

Ohio's Gary Russell will follow in friend and former teammate Ernie Wheelwright's footsteps. Russell will sign with Minnesota in February. What can the Golden Gopher fans expect to see from Russell? Take a look.

Gary Russell (5-10, 210, 4.3) from Columbus, Ohio (Walnut Ridge) is one of the finest running back prospects in the Midwest.

Russell has been showered with post-season awards including Division II Player of the Year in the Buckeye State.

Russell is committed to Glen Mason's Minnesota Golden Gophers and he'll sign his letter of intent in February.

How did Russell get away from the Buckeyes?

"Grades were a problem from the start," said Walnut Ridge coach Gary Carter.

"Ohio State was talking to Gary but they weren't going to prop him and take him as a partial qualifier like Minnesota.

"Coach (Glen) Mason knows central Ohio very well. He took one of my kids last year (Ernie Wheelwright) and they had to prop him as well."

Russell had a super senior season, rushing for 2,300 yards and 25 touchdowns. What can fans of the Gophers expect from Gary in the next four or five years?

"First and foremost, Gary is a quality young man," Carter said. "He has a great combination of speed and strength. He can run around you or he could run you over.

"Gary didn't have near the blocking he had last year and he still had 2,300 yards rushing. Just to show you how special he is, Gary also played defensive tackle for us and was one of our leading tacklers.

"Minnesota loves to run the ball and they use a running back by committee. I think Gary is going to be a very good fit for them."


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