In the grand scheme of things, Quincy Russell was just
trying to find if the grass could get any greener that it is on the 40 Acres. That’s a big reason why the San Antonio Sam Houston defensive tackle
decommitted from the Longhorns shortly after making a verbal commitment in
April, but it was everything that led him to commit to Texas initially that
brought him back into the fold of Texas’ 2011 recruiting class – this time for
One of the hottest defensive line prospects in the
country, Russell has the rare blend of size and speed that college coaches
covet as the 6-foot-3, 290-pound two-time All-District defensive tackle is a
former sprinter from his junior high days. That, along with a need at defensive
tackle, made Russell a prime target for the Texas coaches and the Longhorn
staff figured to have a big-time commitment secured when Russell made the call
in early April.
He decommitted from the Longhorns the following day
however and Russell acknowledged immediately afterward that he might have
jumped the gun. He’s been quiet about everything surrounding his recruitment
from then until now, but Russell said his the whole situation was more about
making sure he made the right decision rather than any major second thoughts
about the Longhorns.
“When I decommitted it wasn’t that I didn’t like Texas,
it was so that I could compare other schools to Texas,” Russell said. “I had
more than 21 offers and I really felt like I just needed to take a step back
and make sure I was making the right decision.
“When it came down to it,” Russell added, “Texas was
still the place for me and I feel great about my decision.”
Backing out on his original commitment to the Longhorns
gave Russell a chance to visit some of the schools who had just started to
heavily recruit him. He visited Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas
A&M and also made a trip to Baylor.
Surprisingly it was the Bears who finished second in
Russell’s recruitment behind Texas and Russell said Baylor assistant coach
Chris Achuff did an outstanding job throughout his recruitment. The effort by
the Bears was all for not as Russell called Achuff and told him about his
decision on Sunday night.
“The time between then and now, it was chance for me to
get and see some places I hadn’t had the chance to see yet,” Russell said. “It
came down to Texas and Baylor and I wanted to visit there again, but I knew
Texas was the right place for me.
“I had developed a good relationship with Coach Achuff,”
Russell added. “I called him Sunday night and told him I just needed to make the
best decision for myself and he said he was disappointed to not get me, but he
One assistant coach who was not disappointed on Sunday
night was Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina. Akina recruits the San
Antonio area for Texas and Russell said when he called Akina to tell him the
good news he said he could almost visualize the ear-to-ear smile on his
“He seemed like he was really happy and you could almost
hear the smile in his voice,” Russell said. “It’s kind of like a kid who wants
something really bad and then finally gets it – that’s how excited he seemed.”
Now that he’s a member, again, of Texas’ recruiting class
currently ranked as the nation’s top overall class by ESPN Recruiting Russell
said his commitment is firm and he’s ending his recruitment. The Longhorns now
have two of the country’s top defensive tackle prospects for the second year in
a row as Russell and Spring Westfield Under Armour All-America Desmond Jackson
will fill out a defensive tackle rotation that could be the nation’s best along
with 2010 Under Armour All-Americans Taylor Bible and Ashton Dorsey and
three-star prospect De’Aires Cotton.
Russell said one thing that made Texas the perfect fit
for him was the fact that the Longhorns had everything he was looking for in a
school. In addition to having a good program in his choice of major and having
good football coaches, Russell said the fact that he could stay within a
reasonable distance to his mother is what helped put the Longhorns over the
“The most important thing for me was distance from home
because I really want my mom to be able to come see play as much she can and
that made Texas a great choice,” Russell said. “Education wise I can pursue my
career in engineering at Texas and the chemistry I had with the coaches at
Texas was really good.”
Having received offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida
State, Notre Dame and many others from across the country, Russell is anticipating
that his phone nor the phone of Sam Houston head coach Gary Green will stop
ringing with college coaches calling to see if Russell going to waver on his
The standout defender said Longhorn fans need not worry
as he’s staying put and is excited about his future as a Longhorn.
“I feel good about my decision and now I can focus on my
senior year and not worry about recruiting,” Russell said. “I know that schools
will try to talk to be, but Texas is where I’m going to be at.
“They can call me all they want,” Russell said, “but I
know Texas is where I’m going to go to attend college.”
Some say the third time is a charm, but in Russell’s case
it looks like a second look was all he needed to see what he needed to see and
become a part of Texas’ outstanding recruiting class – finally.