Junior Profile - Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo didn't have it easy last year. The 5-11, 185 pound all-purpose back from Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes didn't have much of a chance, as Akeem Anthony was lighting up opposing defenses. But when the Lancers needed a change of pace, Russo was always quick to respond with big numbers of his own.

When Akeem went out with an ankle injury, Russo stepped up and really filled the hole in a big way. 358 yards and 3 touchdowns later against Peninsula, he was backing Akeem up again the next week.

"It's a little tough sitting behind a great back like Akeem, but I can come in and bring fresh legs, Russo told Dawgman.com. "I can get more yards for my team."

That huge effort against Peninsula was motivated by many things. Anthony knew that an old teammate was in the stands taking it all in - Reggie Williams. "I just wanted to show him I could really run the ball, so I did," Anthony said.

Being an all-purpose performer means Russo runs the ball, catches the ball and also defends. "Coach (Dave Miller) says that I'll be catching the ball more this year, doing more sweeps, pitches, screens," Anthony said. "That sort of thing."

I can't think of any part-time player that amassed these kinds of numbers; 815 yards rushing, 300 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns scored. He also scored 2 touchdowns via kickoff return and one via punt return. His 40 time is somewhere in the 4.4-4.5 range and his bench press is currently 270 pounds.

"I can outrun anybody on the field," he said when talking about his strengths. "And I have good vision. I can make quick cuts. I lead by example. I'm quiet until I get on the field. My teammates would tell you that once I get on the field, I'm fierce."

Playing for a team like Lakes can get a player spoiled, but Russo insists the Lancers are still hungry for more success. "There's a lot more we can do," he said. "We had too many turnovers. We scored a lot of points on teams, so they couldn't come back, but losing to Lynden really hurt, especially being up by 17."

Russo has been getting mail from Stanford, Penn State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State and Arizona State. "I really like Nebraska, U-Dub and Texas," he said. "I like Nebraska because they run the ball a lot and they are always known as being a tough team. I've always liked Texas. They also run the ball well. And U-Dub too. I've always liked them. It would be fun playing with Reggie again. I would like that."

Anthony already has a good idea about what he'll be doing this summer. "I'll be going to our team camp at Eastern (Washington), the Oregon Nike camp and also the U-Dub camp," he said.

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