Ude revising timeline for decision

Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster defensive end Russell Ude is getting closer to making a decision. Who's putting the pressure on him down the stretch?

Things could be wrapping up quickly for three-star Westminster defensive end Russell Ude. Earlier in the recruiting cycle, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound prospect with an offer sheet a mile long eyed a chance to make a decision in July at The Opening.

However, Ude was unable to attend a Nike Football Training Camp this spring and is on the outside looking in for right now for the prestigious camp. Told there were five defensive line spots left prior to Sunday's camp at Ohio State, Ude will wait to see if there is still an open slot following the final NFTC at the University of Oregon next Sunday.

Whether or not he gets the invite, it sounds like he isn't leaving his decision up to chance.

"To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if I made my decision this month," Ude said. "I'm ready to get this over with and get out of this recruiting process."

Ude said he'll release a list of favorites this week.

Because of the smaller timeframe, its likely Ude could commit to a school he hasn't visited yet. Ude's father works abroad, which makes it difficult and expensive to schedule a last minute international flight that would allow him to accompany his son and tour each program as he desires.

Consequently, Ude's mother is focused on taking care of her family at home and therefore does not have the time to shuttle Russell from program to program.

"It's going to be tough," Ude said. "But I've done a lot of research and put a lot of thought into it obviously, so I can make a decision to a school I haven't even visited yet. I know what I'm looking for in a school, so I feel comfortable with whatever decision I make."

Right now there is one program that is recruiting Ude harder than any other.

"Miami is recruiting me the hardest right now," Ude said. "I've talked to Coach [Michael] Barrow and Coach [Jethro] Franklin. They message me like every single day. I spoke with Coach Golden not that long ago and his line is always open to me. They're taking my recruiting very seriously and I appreciate that." But, more programs are making their best pitches to the junior in the hopes of landing him. Oregon is one program that is continuing to stand out in Ude's eyes.

"As I've learned more about the school, it's been good," Ude said. "I need to learn more about the sports business program. That's something I'd study if I went there. [Oregon] provides a lot of opportunities as far as the whole partnership with Nike and that's something I'm definitely interested in."

Ude has had no shortage of contact with the Oregon coaching staff over the past few months, having spoken on multiple occasions with defensive line coach Ron Aiken, outside linebackers coach Erik Chinander, defensive coordinator Don Pellum, offensive coordinator Scott Frost and head coach Mark Helfrich.

Early last month, Chinander checked in on Ude at his school and let him know that he was a priority for Oregon.

"Coach Chinander was telling me that they're going to wait for me if I decided to wait all the way to Signing Day," Ude said. "But they want me. They said I'm their guy."

According to the him, the Ducks are hopeful they'll land him and another elite defensive lineman out of the Southeast for the future: five-star Seffner (Fla.) DE Byron Cowart.

"They want me playing the hybrid role and they want Byron playing with his hand on the ground," Ude said. "I like that a lot, the idea of me having a role that encompasses flexibility and versatility because I think that's what I'm good at: doing a lot of things. It's good to know that regardless of who they pick up — with Byron being a great talent and Oregon being his leader from what they were telling me — that they want me and they have a fit for me."

Outside of those schools, UCLA and NC State are paying more attention to Ude. Boston College, Ude's first offer, is also a lock to be a factor down the stretch.

"It's hard to progress more with Boston College because I've had that relationship for so long," Ude said. "I know that they're there and I understand where I stand with them. Because they've been recruiting me for so long, they're definitely a little antsy now that it's coming down to the stages of when I'm about to go and make this decision. They're putting a little more pressure on me."


eDuck Top Stories