J.J. Russell worked with Bulldog defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Peter Sirmon on Friday. Following an in person meeting with Coach Dan Mullen Friday afternoon, Russell headed home with the promise of another conversation coming soon.
Friday night, Russell was informed that the Bulldogs were indeed interested in taking things to the next level. With a scholarship offer now extended, Russell and his family made the hour long trip back to the Seal Jr. Complex to learn more about the opportunities in Starkville.
"I talked with Coach Mullen last night and he told me that they were extending me a scholarship offer," Russell said. "They wanted me to come back with my mom for a visit. I had already been over there a couple of times, so it was important for me to get my mom over there. Today was going to be the last day that everybody was going to be there for a while, so we felt like today was going to be the best day to come.
"She loved it over there too. We got to take the tour and see everything. I had already seen everything before, but I wanted my mom to be able to see everything."
Before heading home, Russell had the chance to sit across the desk from Coach Dan Mullen and formally accepted the Bulldogs' offer in person.
"Telling Coach Mullen felt like lighting a fuse and then sitting back and then watching everything explode," Russell shared. "He was excited and the entire coaching staff was excited. Coach Mullen said that they were glad to have me.
"Coach Sirmon was a big part of things for me. He's going to be coaching me and he's a great coach. I got the chance to work with him yesterday and everything just clicked. We have been talking a lot since then. I am excited about playing for him."
The talented linebacker chose the Bulldogs over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri, South Alabama, Southern Miss and Tulane among others.
Now in the Bulldog boat, Russell plans to do his part to aid in the Mississippi State recruiting efforts to close out the 2017 signing class.
"I am going to be talking to some of the other recruits about coming up here," Russell said. "We need to come together and get this program started towards the next level."
A junior day and summer camp visitor to Mississippi State, Russell has shown some strong interest in Mississippi State throughout the recruiting process. No longer a prospect, Russell now claims kinship in the Bulldog family,
Russell recorded 81 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and five sacks as a junior. The productive defender projects as a "star" linebacker in the Peter Sirmon 3-4 defensive alignment.