Russell's Notre Dame Trip Set; Any Others?

Mariner High (Everett, Wash.) four-star running back KeiVarae Russell set his Notre Dame official visit up a while back, and he plans on making that for the Oct. 22 game against USC. But what is attracting Russell to Notre Dame? And does he have any other visits set up? has the answers.

Mariner High (Everett, Wash.) four-star running back Keivarae Russell plans to take all five of his official visits, but the Oct. 22 jaunt to Notre Dame will be his only in-season trip.

And that, more than anything, shows his interest level in the Irish.

"If he's taking a trip, he's interested in that school," Mariner coach John Ondriezek said. "He knows he only gets five, so he is not taking any that he isn't serious about.

"He's got one recruiting trip, one to Notre Dame, set up. We have a five o'clock game the day before, so it works out well."

The Irish host USC on that day, and it is a huge recruiting weekend for Notre Dame as many of its targets will be making official visits. Because of the time of Mariner's game the night prior, and Notre Dame kicking off with USC at night, it made the trip workable.

"The rest of them he will do after our season," Ondriezek said. "He's not going to do any more in-season. It makes it difficult. If we have a late game, and he can't make a flight until the following morning and somebody plays at 12:30, or 1 o'clock, it makes it tough."

Ondriezek said he speaks regularly with the Notre Dame staff, and he knows why the 6-foot, 170-pound Russell has such a high interest in the school.

"He really ranks Notre Dame high as far as academics go, their graduation rate," Ondriezek said. "He just thinks it's a great institution, and it has great tradition."

In addition to Notre Dame, Russell has Boise State, California, USC and Washington high on his list, and he could visit each of them.

"He wants to make his trips, and really, he's a very intelligent person," Ondriezek said. "He's looking at all his options, and what's going to be his best interest. He's going to sit down and make a decision he feels comfortable with, and his family feels comfortable with."

However, although Russell is one of the top running backs in the nation – he is rated No. 22 in's 2012 class – schools aren't pigeon-holing him as a running back.

He has talked about being used in a variety of ways, including playing slot receiver, and Ondriezek added schools aren't talking about what position Russell would play during his recruitment.

"I would think the one reason so many schools are actively recruiting him is because he's a very versatile player," Ondriezek said. "He's being recruited as a running back, some schools see him as a slot receiver in a spread offense. He's got height. He certainly can return punts and kickoffs, and he was also an all-conference player on defense last year. Most people are just recruiting him as an athlete." Top Stories