Russell Ready for Another Swing

Tyler Russell came to Mississippi State looking to take the Bulldog program to new heights. A record breaking career later, Russell is now hoping to continue his playing career on the professional level. On Wednesday, Russell was put through the Pro Day paces with reps from NFL and Canadian Football teams on hand to observe.

Russell had plans to attend pro day last March along with his fellow seniors, but as fate would have it, the Meridian, Mississippi native was sidelined with injury. The final snap of Russell's Bulldog career came at Arkansas on a play the Bulldogs had to have.

Standing tall in the pocket, Russell delivered the pass knowing he would be hit and hit hard. He completed his assignment and saw the rest of the season play out from the safety of the sidelines with his arm in a sling.

"It was really tough," Russell said. "My senior year didn't go as planned, but in the Arkansas game I played well and I dislocated the shoulder. Then I started getting a lot of calls from scouts and people trying to get me into All-Star games. I couldn't do any of that. I had to have surgery."

The frustration continued as draft day came and Russell was unable to take part in any tryouts or get a clean bill of health to throw for interested teams.

"I was getting a lot of calls and about seven teams wanted to sign me," Russell said. "I couldn't go. Right now my goal is to come out here and refresh some people's memories with what I am capable of doing. I feel like I did that today. I had a lot of scouts come up to me today and tell me that I did good.

"I did well enough for people to notice and that's really what I wanted to do."

Often his own harshest critic, Russell believes he helped his pro prospects with his showing on Wednesday.

"I think I did well," Russell shared. "This was a lot better than I have been throwing. I feel like I am stronger now and that I am beginning to throw the ball like the old Tyler. Today was good.

"The Bengals' scout told me that it was a hard thing for me to do to come out here and throw as many balls that quick. There were some throws that normally I would make, but I had some fatigue set in after a long day."

The road back has been difficult at times, but one of the most prolific passers in Bulldog history finally got his chance to workout for pro scouts. Russell has no regrets about his ability to showcase himself this week.

"I am satisfied with how things went," Russell said. "It was really better today than it has been. A lot of people don't understand that when you take a year off from throwing that it takes a lot to come back. It was really hard for me to come back and get things right again.

"I am finally getting healthy and I am ready to roll. I know that whatever happens happens, but I believe I am starting to see all of my hard work pay off. I just plan to keep working hard and let this be a first step towards something else."

With his name back on the radar with pro scouts, Russell expects to see some big things happen as teams begin making their preparations for draft day and their free agent contract selections.

"Hopefully after today, I will start getting some phone calls from some teams who want me to come workout for them," Russel said. "I have done all I can do right now. All of the scouts were here. They stayed and watched, so they know what I can do. All I can do now is keep working and getting ready for whatever comes."

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