It was Russell's first trip to the Hale Center since committing to coach Kyle Flood in the summer, and this time he spent the weekend with former classmate Nick Internicola. Internicola and Russell attended University School together last spring, and the freshman defensive end played host for a fun weekend.
"He was my best friend when we were in school together, so it felt like old times," Russell said. "It was great to hang out with him, and just hear about Rutgers from his perspective."
Russell was the only committed official visitor to come to Rutgers this weekend, which gave him the job of selling the program to the other four prospects.
"I definitely talked to the about it, but I wasn't trying to be too aggressive or obvious," Russell said. "We all had a good time together."
Russell had a front-row seat to the first practice in preparation for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. With former defensive coordinator Dave Cohen now gone, Russell watched the way linebackers and the defense was handled by Joe Rossi, and felt impressed.
Early enrollment has Russell eligible for spring football, where he feels confident he can compete immediately.
"Watching their practice really just looked like fun," Russell said. "They get at it. They practice what they preach. They talk about family. They talk about playing for one another. They showed that they really cared for each other.
"I was excited. They brought a lot of intensity. They like to move around. Sometimes it seemed like more fun than just practice."
Russell is set to enroll early, but has not prepared the paperwork or talked about his report date. The spring semester begins Jan. 20, where Russell will begin classes and prepare for spring practice in March.
"I don't know all the details, but I do know that I'm ready," he said.