Junior LB Visits UNC

Christian Russell unofficially visited North Carolina Monday, three days after receiving an official UNC scholarship offer.

"Butch Davis, he told me [in the letter enclosed with the offer] he wanted me to come up there and meet all of his coaches and he wanted to meet me," Russell said.

UNC is the first, and currently only, school to offer Russell, a 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker from Fayetteville (N.C.) Westover.

"I was amazed – that was my first one," Russell said. "I know I'm going to get some more, but that was my first official one."

Russell is also hearing from Clemson, Georgia Tech, NC State, and South Carolina.

The majority of Russell's UNC visit was spent touring the campus. He had visited UNC one other time – for a basketball game, where he saw very little of the campus.

"The campus is nice," Russell said. "And they're about to rebuild it and add more, so by the time I get there, it's going to be beautiful – if I go there. It's going to be nice."

Additionally, Russell spend a great deal of time getting to know UNC's coaching staff. He met individually with Art Kaufman, UNC's linebacker coach, Sam Pittman, who will handle Russell's recruitment, and Butch Davis.

"They kept calling me a ‘freak,'" Russell said. "They were like the linebackers they have now they're freaks and when they leave, they want to replace them with freaks. They said I could have one of those spots. They just kept calling me a "freak" because of my highlight tape."

Russell plans to return to UNC in two weeks for the East Carolina game.

Even before Monday's visit, UNC had firmly been entrenched in Russell's favorite schools list, which also includes Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State.

"Those are schools I grew up liking," Russell said of his five favorites.

Russell is looking to make a verbal commitment sometime during the summer heading into his senior year.

As a freshman, Russell became a starter at both linebacker and guard for Westover. He continues to start at linebacker, but was moved to running back as a sophomore.

Thus far this season, Russell has collected 46 tackles (18 solo) and a pass breakup in three games. He was inserted at running back for the first time last Friday against Fayetteville (N.C.) Smith and responded with 208 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.

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