One of the more interesting small school prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft class is Defensive Tackle Brent Russell out of Georgia Southern. At 6’2", 297 lbs., Brent is ranked 33rd out of 218 Defensive Tackle prospects and 439th overall. He didn’t receive an invite to the NFL Combine, so his unofficial 40 Time is listed as 5.04 seconds. We will have to wait for his Pro day (March 15th) to find out his details. He is projected to go Undrafted in April. Oh yeah, and he had a Production Ratio of 1.53 during his college career.
#33 Brent Russell
Born: August 16, 1989 (23)
Major: Construction Management
Russell finished his career at Statesboro starting 52 games, with 231 Tackles, 54.5 Tackles For Loss, 25 Sacks, 2 Pass Breakups, 1 Interception, 5 Blocked Kicks and 2 Quarterback Hurries. He also earned First-Team All-Southern Conference Honors.
In 2012, the senior Defensive Tackle had 44 stops, 8.5 Tackles For Loss and 4.5 Sacks in 13 games. He earned the 2012 Elite Defensive Tackle Award by the College Football Performance Awards.
JUNIOR (2011): Brent was named the Southern Conference (SoCon) Defensive Player of the Year, selected as a 1st Team All-American by the Sports Network and Phil Steele, named an All-American by the Associated Press, College Sporting News, Walter Camp Foundation and 1st Team All-Conference by both the Coaches and the Media Association. Russell started in all 13 games and finished 4th on the team with 67 Tackles. He led the Eagles with 16.5 Tackles For Loss and 6.5 Sacks while breaking up 2 passes and posting two Quarterback Hurries. He blocked an Extra Point attempt against Furman (10/15) and posted a season-high 10 Tackles and 2 TFL’s at #5 Appalachian State (10/29). Brent had six or more Tackles in all three of the FCS Playoff games and made at least one TFL in the final four games of the season.
SOPHOMORE (2010): Brent racked up numerous All-America honors following the season with recognition from Walter Camp, 1st-team honors from the Associated Press and Phil Steele Publications, Sports Network 2nd-team All-American and 1st-Team All-SoCon selection by the Coaches and Media Association. He anchored the Eagles Defensive Line with 15 starts at Nose Tackle, totaling 71 Tackles, 18.5 TFL’s and 8 Sacks. He blocked an Extra Point attempt at Coastal Carolina and scooped it up, lateralling to Derek Heyden for the defensive conversion to put the Eagles up 12-6. Made SoCon Defensive Player of the Month (November) and SoCon Defensive Player of the Week (November 15) following performance against Western Carolina with 7 Tackles and a career-best 3.5 TFL’s in the game. He also Forced a Fumble in South Carolina State playoff game that led to a scoop and score by Josh Gebhardt.
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN (2009): Russell was named College Sporting News Freshman of the Year and All-American for 2009. He earned 1st team SoCon Media Association honors and 2nd team all-SoCon honors from the league coaches after the season to became only the 3rd Eagle this decade to earn those honors as a freshman. Brent was the only rookie selected to the 2009 SoCon top squad and one of only two selected overall. He started all 11 games and played at every position on the D-line, finishing the season with 48 tackles, 11 Tackles For a Loss, 6 Sacks as well as three blocked kicks on Special Teams. He also had one Interception and 1 Forced Fumble.
FRESHMAN (2008): Earned the start at Defensive Tackle in the season-opener against Georgia and made an assisted Tackle. He suffered a knee injury in the game and missed the remainder of the season.
High School: Lettered in football, track and wrestling.... junior year won the Region 8-AAAA shot put title... won the Class 4A Heavyweight wrestling title, posting a 56-1 record.
Russell was arrested outside a campus bar one early Sunday morning in November, 2012 for disorderly conduct and obstruction of a law officer. Brent was suspended by Eagles head coach Jeff Monken for 2 games. The coach didn’t seem to think the incident was a character flaw, but was determined to uphold team discipline for all of his players.
"We have 20,000 kids on this campus, and sometimes kids this age do dumb things," Monken said. "I have 125 of those guys, and I wish all of them would always make good decisions and not do dumb things. (Russell’s) not the first one to do something dumb. He’s not the first one I’ve suspended, and he probably won’t be the last, unfortunately."
NFL.COM DRAFT GRADE-61.5
Russell’s career started with an injury setback (knee), but he rebounded with a vengeance. Brent used his competitiveness and agility to become one of the top defenders at the FCS level and a legitimate NFL prospect.
Russ Lande from National Football Post had this to say about Brent:
While Russell lacks the ideal size to overpower NFL offensive linemen, he has dominated with his strength at this lower level of football and needs to prove to NFL teams that he can play strong at the next level despite weighing less than 300 pounds. He plays with great intensity on every snap and scouts at this game will be interested to evaluate whether Russell’s initial quickness is good enough for him to be a consistently disruptive gap shooting force in the NFL as he often has been at Georgia Southern.
Brent Russell vs N. Dakota State 2011
Brent Russell has tremendous upside, with a feisty on-field demeanor and loads of determination; two things he will need if he is to overcome the small school stigma and make an NFL roster. I like the underdog role here, as opposed to a 1st rounder that has had everything handed to him. This kid will have to work hard and earn everything he gets and I believe he has the moxie to do it. A 7th round draft pick in April is not too steep a price in my opinion and if Russell goes undrafted, some team should pick him up.
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