Russell Eyes Official Visit to Notre Dame

Mariner High (Everett, Wash.) four-star running back KeiVarae Russell isn't ready to trim his list, but he is talking about making an official visit to Notre Dame. He spoke to about that, as well as his relationship with the Irish staff, how schools are recruiting him, and what position(s) he wants to play in college.

Keivarae Russell isn't ready to start listing all the schools that will survive his impending cut down, but it is clear Notre Dame is in good standing with the four-star running back from Mariner High (Everett, Wash.).

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Russell, who is rated as's No. 19 running back in the 2012 class, is eyeing an official visit to campus.

"I'm thinking about making an official visit there for the USC night game (Oct. 22)," Russell told

Russell also mentioned California, Boise State, hometown Washington and, to a lesser degree Stanford as schools piquing his interest, but he acknowledged others are also under strong consideration.

A key component in Russell's recruitment is how he will be used. Despite his ability as a ball-carrier, he believes he may not be physically ready to initially absorb the pounding a tailback takes in college, so he is thinking about playing another position as a freshman.

"I'm thinking a slot position, like a Percy Harvin at Florida," Russell said. "Running around the edge, catching the ball, play a little ‘Wildcat.' I think that's how I'll be used in college.

"I love running back. Don't get me wrong. But it may be a little too much, thinking I'm not a 195 (pound) bruiser yet. Maybe during my sophomore year when I'm 185, 190, and I pack on a little more muscle, then maybe I could go back to running back.

"But I want to go to slot for the first year to get used to the speed, the hitting. I can get outside the box a little bit and make people chase me and build my confidence up the first year, and if the coaches feel after that I can move to running back, that's fine."

Russell said the Irish are talking to him about playing a Harvin-type role.

He already built a strong relationship with his recruiting coach, assistant Mike Denbrok, and is also talking to running backs coach Tim Hinton. Both coaches visited Mariner High in the spring.

"Coach Denbrock, he's like a homie," Russell said. "He calls me K-Bomb, and that's what people call me. Every time he Facebook's me, he's like, ‘What's up, K-Bomb? How's everything going?' We talk back and forth, and he shows a lot of enthusiasm, and I show it right back. Our relationship is very strong.

"Coach Hinton, he takes of his running back and players and everyone he coaches. I know coach Denbrock better because he's my recruiting coach. My relationship with coach Hinton will get stronger in the future, but it's pretty strong with both of them."

Russell does not have a time frame for trimming his list, and doesn't expect to make a decision until after his senior season. Top Stories