IrishEyes.com continues its signing day coverage with a profile of the class's second four-star RB prospect – one that could find time on the perimeter during his collegiate career.
Keivarae Russell (Running Back – 5'11" 170 pounds):
The four-star running back recruit could make his official debut as a slot receiver for the 2012 Irish (see story link below). Regardless of his initial position, Russell will be asked to wear many hats for the Irish offense and special teams over the next four seasons, perhaps in the role envisioned for Theo Riddick
last season by head coach Brian Kelly…Should he debut as a slot competitor, Russell could see time in a backup role behind veterans Robby Toma
and T.J. Jones (an outside starting receiver that is also well-versed in the slot)…If Russell begins his career in the backfield he'd be in direct competition with sophomores-to-be Cam McDaniel
and George Atkinson
as a the change-of-pace option sorely missing from the attack over the last two seasons (fellow frosh Will Mahone isn't a change-of-pace runner but more of a future feature ‘back)…Its likely that Russell's first on field impact will be in the return game.
Kelly Recruiting Profile: Skill
*Veterans returning at running back: Senior Theo Riddick; redshirt-junior Cierre Wood; redshirt-sophomore Cameron Roberson; sophomores Cam McDaniel, George Atkinson, and Amir Carlisle. Carlisle is a 2011 class member that transferred from to the University in January. He earned a monogram from USC last fall. (*denotes eligibility entering 2012)
Fellow incoming running back prospect: Will Mahone
Berk on Russell: Player capable of playing running back or wide receiver at Notre Dame. Smooth runner who is capable of scoring each time he touches the ball. He'll need to show the ability to get yards after contact and be willing to run more inside.
Dohn on Russell: The Pacific Northwest native is a jack-of-all-trades player on offense. He played running back, slot receiver, lined up wide and can be a factor in the return game. He is the perfect type of scat back for coach Brian Kelly's offense.
Russell's high school coach on his pledge to the Irish (column)
Russell's Pledge to the Irish
IE Breakdown: Keivarae Russell
Huffman's recent interview with Russell
All on Keivarae Russell (A collection of video is available at the bottom of the page.)