Quincy Russell (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley Community College) once thought his college path would include burnt orange and white. A former Texas commit, Russell has seen his college career take a detour through the junior college ranks.
A very beneficial detour, no doubt.
Russell, a highly touted defensive tackle out of high school, has lived up to the hype on the juco level and has been a mainstay for Trinity Valley’s stingy defense. The Cardinals are 2-0 this year after defeating then-nationally ranked Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, 35-7, on Saturday. Trinity Valley currently is ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA national poll.
A 6-foot-4, 308-pound sophomore, Russell is playing with two purposes. First, he’s doing his part to get Trinity Valley as close as possible to a national championship. Second, he’s looking to find an FBS home. Currently, Russell has offers from Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Nebraska, TCU and several others.
“It’s been a good experience here,” Russell said. “I still get the college experience with the coaches and learning and the school, but it’s at a slower pace. I still get to see the fun part but also the business side.
“One thing I’m really learning to do is play to the best of my ability. The stuff I really need to work on, I work on before and after practice.”
Russell finished last season with 31 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He said he’s learned about the business aspect of recruiting, and he viewed his experience with Texas as a positive. It’s made him a better player and a more focused person on and off the field. The new focus has resulted into Russell being one of the top juco defensive targets -- whether he believes that or not.
“The coaches and players think I’m a defensive leader,” Russell said. “Me, I’ll take that role, but I just like playing football. If people see me working hard and they want to follow, come along. There’s enough food for everybody to eat.”
Russell has yet to set any official visits, but he has considerable interest in Big 12 schools Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and TCU. Nebraska also is high on his list.
“In a winning program, it’s going to be all about chemistry,” he said. “Who can gel the fastest? Who knows their assignment? Who’s got that vibe? You also want to have fun while you’re playing football.”