Anthony Russo to Washington

Anthony Russo, a 5-11, 185-pound athlete from Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes has sent Rick Neuheisel and the Washington Huskies a message today - he wants to be a Husky. Russo has not heard back from Neuheisel yet, but as far as Anthony is concerned the die has been cast. He becomes the fifth in-state player to make the decision to stay home next year, and the eighth overall for Washington.

"Just before our game last night (against Rainier Beach), I knew I was going to do it," Russo told of his intentions on being a Husky. "I told some of my teammates about it." It certainly didn't hurt Anthony's motivation, as he took the opening kickoff to the house for 6 against the Vikings. He later added an 8-yard touchdown for the Lancers as they won a hard-fought 29-8 contest.

The decision takes a big load off of Russo's shoulders, as he can now concentrate on one thing - winning State. "It's a big day and a big relief," he said. "Now I can help my team win a state championship."

It didn't take long for Anthony to make up his mind once the Husky coaches showed him the love he was looking for. "Basically I just wanted to talk it over with my parents, go over the good things and the bad things about Washington. They've been a winning team forever." Watching them handle Oregon yesterday didn't hurt Russo's thought process much either. "Watching the game was definitely exciting," he said. "Seeing Reggie (Williams) play so well, it's like, 'I used to play with him! I used to guard him in practice!' It just excited me. I can't wait to get up there."

Russo also received some advice from his Coach, Dave Miller, about where to go. "He knew about the offer before I did, so he brought me into his office and just gave me some advice about it," Anthony said. "He told me it was the best place for me to go. He said that I'll get a great education and that I'll be able to stay close to home. He thought that was really important."

It just reinforced his own ideas about the school. "I've always liked U-Dub," he said. "I know I'll get a good education there. I just like everything about them." Russo expects his conversation with Neuheisel tonight will be short and sweet. "I want to tell him I want to be a Husky."

Running back is where Anthony will get his first shot, but there are plenty of other places the versatile Russo can play if things don't pan out. "They are going to give me a shot at running back," he said. "They want me to take a shot there. And definitely as a punt returner and kick returner. And it that doesn't work out, then they want me to try receiver."

The Huskies beat out offers from Montana, Idaho, Portland State and Eastern Washington to land Russo. Anthony Russo Scout Profile Top Stories