Russell Starts Senior Season on Right Foot

Being a ‘tweener prospect, many coaching staffs have been reluctant to extend Tripp Russell a scholarship offer.

"A lot coaches want to see my first couple games at linebacker," said Russell. "They want to see how things are going. I don't have any new offers quite yet, but a lot of schools are interested in me: Vanderbilt is very interested in me, and Army is talking a lot to me. I'm very happy with my Wake [Forest] offer and we'll just see how things go the rest of the season."

Russell, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound jumbo athlete, starred at defensive end for Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor since his sophomore season. However, when All-American linebacker Derek Nicholson graduated, the Mount Tabor coaching staffed moved Russell to middle linebacker. Russell gladly accepted the challenge.

"I knew about it for a long time and I've been looking forward to it," said Russell. "I wasn't nervous. I wasn't saying what if I don't perform. I was just ready to go out there and work hard and play the best game I could play."

That he did, Russell collected seven tackles (five solo), and broke-up one pass in Mount Tabor's season opener against New Bern.

Russell's plan is to see what options he has available to him after a few games and then work on making a decision.

Wake Forest still is his leader due to the combination of being his lone offer and the relationship Russell has developed with the Demon Deacon's coaching staff over the summer.

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