Russell Makes Choice

One of the recruiting needs for the Rebels is middle linebacker with Mike Marry graduating and D.T. Shackelford's future uncertain. Enter East Mississippi Community College's Christian Russell, who cast his lot with the Rebels today.

East Mississippi Community College Middle Linebacker Christian Russell has barely had time to let the EMCC national champion ship sink in.

But he quickly pulled the trigger on where he wants to finish out his collegiate career - Ole Miss, he decided Monday afternoon.

"Every time I have been around the Ole Miss coaches, they have been straight with me. All I want is the truth about my situation and they gave me that," said Christian, who likes to be called by his last name. "I will have to work hard to win a spot, but the opportunity is there with them losing Marry and not knowing about whether or not Shackelford will come back for his sixth year. There's an opening.

"I am also excited about what Ole Miss is building. We are going to win a lot of games and hopefully championships. It's a great situation for me. They have a close team and the atmosphere there is what I was looking for."

The 6-1, 235-pounder, who said he wants to play in the 235-240 range, had a plethora of options to continue his football career.

"I had offers from Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Minnesota, UCLA, Georgia and Auburn," he noted. "Wisconsin was my second choice, but I have gotten used to the weather down here (laughs)."

The Raeford, NC, native believes his strength as a player is the way he plays the game and leads.

"I like to set the example on effort and play fast and hard every snap," Russell noted. "I think bringing players together and making sure everyone is on the same page and giving their all is my best attribute.

"I just need to go in there and learn the system, the terminology and the tempo of the Ole Miss offense. I have been shown a lot of the system by the Ole Miss coaches and I feel I will fit right in."

Russell also has some physical prowess to bring to the table. At 6-1, 235-240, he says he runs a 4.58 40, bench presses 355 and squats 535.

This year, Christian racked up 95 tackles, including 12 in the national title match, and had 3 QB sacks, 2 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.

Christian is a December grad and will enroll at Ole Miss in January, meaning he will be on board for spring training.

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