Russell Still High on the Deacons

Although Tripp Russell isn't officially a member of Wake Forest's 2006 recruiting class, he sure does act like one.

"I worked out [at Wake Forest] all summer with Coach [Ethan] Reeve, their strength and conditioning coach," said Tripp Russell. "They have a workout program there.

"I went to their fanfest the other day. I got to meet a lot of their players and talk to them. I've been in contact with a lot of them over there."

Russell, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound defensive end from Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor, has considered the Demon Deacons his leader since they extended a scholarship offer following their summer camp.

"They are still my leader," said Russell. "I'm just really playing it by ear right now. I've been thinking about all I want to do and I've been talking to other coaches. It could be sometime soon. I'm not one of these guys that waits for a long time and makes a big announcement. There's no guarantee, I just want to see how these next couple games go."

Also waiting to see how the next couple of games go are various coaching staffs including Vanderbilt, North Carolina, and Army. Being a ‘tweener prospect, the aforementioned schools want to see how Russell does at his new position of linebacker.

The Wake Forest coaching staff, on the other hand, believe in his abilities and have stuck by the Winston-Salem native.

"They've stood firm on my offer," said Russell. "Coach [Ray] McCartney is recruiting me, he's the defensive line coach. He recruited me at defensive line."

After playing defensive end for the past two years, Russell started at middle linebacker for Mount Tabor this past Friday. In his debut he recorded seven tackles (five solo) and broke-up one pass.

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