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All Roads Lead Russell back to Texas

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

good.
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

understood.”

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

recruiter’s face.

“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

top.

“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

commitment.

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.