"Cincinnati is (close to offering)," Russell said. "They're coming to school on May 20, and if all goes well, I might end up with a scholarship offer. I'm hoping."
Getting an offer from the hometown team, and two-time defending Big East champion would mean something, but it wouldn't necessarily be a given.
"My options are open," Russell added. "I've always been a fan. I'm not scared to check out others."
There's a host of other schools, in addition to Cincinnati, that are either coming in, or have invited him to camp. Pittsburgh and Northwestern are two of the schools that Russell is ready to camp at, hoping to get an offer form.
"I actually signed up for (Pitt's camp) recently," Russell said. "I talked to Pitt last week. They like, but they want me to do a camp. They're a great school. I don't really know too much about the football program, but I like what they represent.
"Northwestern would offer if they're offering a middle linebacker, but they're not. They want to see how I'd do for an outside linebacker, then they'll offer."
It might be a longshot, but Russell at least got a feel from where he stands with Ohio State, as well.
"Ohio State said they'll offer me if Trey DePriest does not commit, and then another guy behind him does not commit," Russell said.
"Illinois likes me a lot," Russell said. "It seemed like when Illinois came in, they really liked me. I'm hoping for one from them. I always grew up liking them. Michigan State, they seemed to like me too. A bunch of schools like me, but they haven't given me the offer yet. They want me to do the camp first."
Outside of the camps at Pitt and Northwestern, Russell expects to spend his summer taking unofficial visits to the schools that have offered him, then maybe circling back to a decision.
"Of course, I'm going to check out everything, and see what (the schools) have to offer," Russell said. "I'll base my decision on what they represent."