In February 2003, the Louisiana State University Tigers put the finishing touches on their recruiting class with 28 written pledges. Among those 28 recruits were NFL-bound wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis, stud runners Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent as well as all-around playmaker safety LaRon Landry.
The 28th and final recruit was a 6-5 –220-pound quarterback named JaMarcus Russell out of Williamson High School in Mobile, Ala. Russell chose LSU over Florida State and it wasn’t until recently that the Seminoles realized what kind of an athlete turned them down.
Russell is coming off a junior year in ’06 in which he threw for 3,129 yards, 28 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He finished with a quarterback rating of 167.03 and a competition rate of 67.8 percent. Russell capped off his final year by leading the Tigers to a 41-14 thrashing over Notre Dame in the BCS Sugar Bowl. Against the Irish, Russell tossed two touchdown passes and threw for 332 yards, his performance overshadowing Notre Dame quarterback and Heisman finalist Brady Quinn.
Russell is an absolute mountain of a man, growing one inch and putting on 40 pounds since his senior year of high school. At 6-6 and 240 lbs., he more resembles a defensive end than a quarterback. Thanks to his performance in the Sugar Bowl, Russell’s stock skyrocketed and the Oakland Raiders eventually chose him with the first overall pick in the ’07 draft.
Not bad for a last-second recruit.
Russell has a rocket for an arm and the uncanny ability to make would-be tacklers bounce off his large frame. Apparently, he can throw a ball 40 yards while sitting down, but there aren’t many times that feature comes into play considering most defenders can’t budge him an inch while he’s standing up, let alone actually knock him down.
It'll be interesting to see if the Raiders hand him the full-time starting gig in 2008 or allow him to develop on the sidelines for another year.
Information sites on Russell
Oakland Raiders Official Player Bio: JaMarcus Russell
Career notes, photos and stats on JaMarcus Russell can be found at the Official Website of the Oakland Raiders.
NFL.com Player Profile: JaMarcus Russell
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on JaMarcus Russell NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: JaMarcus Russell
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on JaMarcus Russell for your fantasy football team.
JaMarcus Russell Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on JaMarcus Russell’s life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
“The JaMarcus Russell: The Cannon”
Check out this video montage of JaMarcus Russell’s playing days at LSU.
Latest on Russell
The Raiders had an issue signing Russell to his first contract, so the quarterback wound up missing the entire preseason and first part of the regular season. He eventually signed and even started the final two games of the season. His best performance came in Oakland's finale, as he threw for 224 yards on 23 of 31 passing, a touchdown and an interception.
Digging up JaMarcus Russell on the web
Raiders Make Russell Top Pick
With the first pick in the ’07 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected LSU quarterback JarMarcus Russell. Read about the day at OaklandRaiders.com.
Dickey: It’s Russell and nobody else
Glenn Dickey of The Examiner feels rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell has to start in ’07 for the Raiders to make any kind of noise.
Muncie warns of changes for Russell
Former three-time Pro Bowler Chuck Muncie warns quarterback JaMarcus Russell that due to his mobile style, he’ll come under plenty of scrutiny.
LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell says he’s ready for the NFL
JaMarcus Russell decided that three years was enough at LSU and has declared himself eligible for the 2007 NFL Draft.
Why JaMarcus Russell is better than Brady Quinn
Heisman finalists or latest hot commodity? FOX Sports.com breaks down the Brady Quinn vs. JaMarcus Russell quarterback battle with surprising results.
No Limits for Russell
JaMarcus Russell is making people in the bayous of Louisiana awestruck by his size and natural gifts according to South Bend Tribune.com writer Scott Rabalais.
Sweet homecoming: LSU Pounds Notre Dame in Sugar Bowl
If JaMarcus Russell’s last game in a Tiger uniform was LSU’s 41-14 victory over Notre Dame in the 2006 Sugar Bowl, well, then it certainly wasn’t a bad way to go out for the QB.
On being drafted by the Raiders:
"I’m ready to go in and work hard and make sure the guys are working hard with me. This is a new year and I’m ready to be a part of that process. I’m ready to go out there and hear the Raiders Anthem and hear things go wild and I’m happy to be a part of that. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity and chance and now I’m ready to go in and compete. I’m ready to go to work."
On playing against fellow first round draft pick Brady Quinn in the 2006 Sugar Bowl:
``My main thing was to play a good game against Brady Quinn's defense. I wasn't playing against him.''