Russell likes the Huskies

One of the top runners in the state of Washington the past two seasons has been Mariner (Everett, Wa.) RB Keivarae Russell. A few weeks ago he was in attendance when the Huskies beat Oregon State in overtime and he got some good news from head coach Steve Sarkisian before the game...

"I was on the sidelines watching and coach (Jeff) Mills came up and was talking to me and he said coach Sark wanted to talk to me," Russell said. "When I went up to talk to him, he said he really liked me a lot and just told me he wanted to talk to me because he really appreciated how I handled myself on the field and how I play the game and he wanted to offer me so they could get in on me early.

"I was blown away. I never expected it at all, so it was really exciting for me and then they went out and won the game in overtime, so all around it made a huge impression on me."

Russell said his conversation with Sarkisian as well as the rest of the staff was very familiar and it didn't feel like he was meeting them for the first time.

"They just made me feel right at home," Russell noted. "Coach Sark, he just approaches you like he knows you already, he's confident and I really liked that a lot.

"It wasn't uncomfortable at all and going in, you're not sure about how things will be.

"They are my hometown school, so to get an offer from them is special and it made me really think about being a Dawg."

Russell had already been offered by the other in-state Pac 10 school and he said they have his attention as well.

"Washington State offered me first, so that is important," Russell said. "They are playing a lot better over there and I like the staff."

Russell said he's been surprised how many top programs have been showing him interest and said USC, Arkansas, California, Nebraska, Oregon and LSU are all sending him things weekly.

"All of those schools really like me a lot," Russell said. "I get hand-written stuff from LSU a lot, like at least once or twice a day, so they really seem to like me a lot."

Russell topped 1,200 yards as a sophomore in 2009 and this past season he rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior.

"I played basketball as a freshman, but this year I'm doing swimming," Russell said. "It works my whole body and helps me with my stamina because I don't want anyone outlasting me in a game.

"This year I was able to finish games, no problem, but I want to be stronger as the game goes on so that means working on my endurance that much more and also getting stronger."

Russell, who weighs 170 pounds currently, said he plans to add more strength and muscle to his frame and hopes to be in the 185 to 190 pound range when he kicks off his senior season next September.

We'll have more from Russell in the coming months as he gets deeper into the recruiting process and we'll update news as it happens.

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