Russell was voted the Athlete of the Year in West Bank, Metro Player of the Year, and District MVP. He was named to the Times-Picayune Top 20 team and was rated by SuperPrep as the No. 25 overall player in Louisiana ... Was credited with 168 tackles, including 119 solo stops ... Also returned one pass interception for a 54-yard score ... Had 11 QB sacks ... Earned four letters in football ... Coached in high school by Derek Lamothe ... Also earned two letters in track ... Was first in district in discus ... National Honor Roll ... Principal's Honor Roll ... PERSONAL: Son of Mike Anderson and Desires Anderson ... Full name is Robert L. Russell ... Born: September 13, 1987.
Comments from Derek Lamothe
"Robert is a tenacious hitter," said L.B. Landry Coach Derek LaMothe. "He's a fierce competitor and understands the game. He will put a hat on you. He's the kind of kid coaches love coaching. He gives 110 percent in football and 110 percent in the classroom. When he received his workout packet from Ole Miss, he told me he was going to learn it to know what to do and he was going to make sure all the others (signees) knew theirs too. That's the kind of player and leaders he is."
"Robert is like a nosetackle playing Mike linebacker. Big hands, good hips, runs well, tough. I went to his home visit and he was working out. I went to watch him and they were working out in the swamps of Louisiana. I was really impressed with him watching him work out. He knows the value of hard work."
The following information was revealed during our interview with Robert Russell:
Have you seen any changes in your height or weight since you signed with Ole Miss? "I am still about 6' 0", but I have gained a lot of weight. I am up to 230 now. I have been training a lot too."
What are doing to keep yourself in shape? "I run a lot. I have a personal trainer now. We run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we lift on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday."
What are your maxing out? "We do not max out. But Monday, I benched 330 four times. I had two more in me, but he told me to stop. I just started squatting a couple of months ago because I had some back problems last Spring. I think I could max maybe 350 right now. I just have not been squatting for a while. I need to gain my lower body strength back."
Did you participate in any football All-Star games? "I played in two. The Parish All-star game (Metro New Orleans) and the All-American Bowl (East vs West) in Shreveport (LA)."
Do you remember your stats from the two games? "I think in the Parish, I had like 11 tackles and 4 sacks. I was the Defensive MVP for the game."
Are you participating in any Spring sports? "I run track. I throw discuss, shot-put, and I use to run the 100, but I can not ever go to track practice because of my trainer."
What is your best throw in the discuss and shot put? "My best in the discuss is 135 feet, and my best in the shot put is 48 feet."
When are you scheduled to graduate? "I am graduating on the 24th of May."
What is your current academic status? "My overall Core GPA is a 3.25 and my ACT is a 16."
Is your ACT test high enough for you to be a full qualifier? "Yes sir, I only needed a 14 because my core was so high."
When do you plan to enroll at Ole Miss? "In early June. After I graduate, I plan on being at Ole Miss the next week."
When is the last time you spoke with someone from Ole Miss? "Probably last week. I spoke with Coach Slocum. I talk to Patrick Willis and Kelvin Robinson almost every day. We became real good friends, real fast."
What all did Coach Slocum have to say? "He is looking for me to come in and play early. I am going to go over the whole play book when I report to camp. They have been sending me bits and pieces of the play book, but they are going to give it all to me when I get there. They have high expectations for me early. They think I am ready physically, now they have to get me mentally prepared."
Have you read or heard the comments from Coach Orgeron stating that he was looking for some of his incoming freshmen to give him some help at linebacker next year? "Oh yea, I read it."
What kind of impact did this have with you? "That made me work even harder knowing he is looking at me to come in as a true freshman and competing for a job."
What are your personal goals for next season? "I am not really worried about the football part of it. I know I can uphold that. I just want to do good in school and start as a freshman."
What is the number one thing you are going to have to work on to make an impact in your first year at Ole Miss? "My lower body strength for one. But really, I just think I need to get the plays straight. If I learn all of the plays, everything else will come together."
What are your team goals? "I feel right now we might go undefeated. I think we might go all of the way."
Are you more nervous or anxious about the transition you are about to make? "I am just anxious to get up there and do my thing."
Have you found a roommate? "My roommate ended up signing with Auburn."
Do you still talk to Alonzo Horton? "Yea, I go by his house every week. We are still best friends. Nothing is going to change that."
In your opinion, what happened with the whole Alonzo episode? "I think when he got back home from the Ole Miss visit, he started listening to the wrong people. Two weeks before he signed, he just disappeared from everyone. His family, his best friend, everyone. Nobody knew where he was. To this day, he wishes he had signed with Ole Miss. We talk about it all of the time. He is jealous that I am going and he is not. He wishes he had it all over to do again."
Are there any rising seniors at your school we should keep an eye on? "A kid named Jamal Thompson. We are moving him to LB this year. He played DT/DE last year for us. He had 19 sacks and was named All-Metro. He is a little shorter than me, probably around 5' 11", but he is thick and strong. He is in the 235 range."
Thinking back now, what was the number one reason you choose Ole Miss? "Ole Miss was just in my heart when I went on my official visit. Everyone was so nice. The staff was great, the students were like me. I can not explain it. I got chills when I committed to Coach Orgeron. I mean, Ole Miss was not even a consideration until they hired Coach O. I was getting recruited by everyone and could have basically gone where I wanted, but Coach Orgeron was the one I wanted to play for. His passion for the game, man, he loves it more than anybody. The day before he won the national championship, he was in my living room with me and my dad. That made me feel real special. Coach Orgeron made my mind up.