Russell talks about his visit to Cal

Running back KeiVarae Russell (Everett, Wash./Mariner) took his official visit to Cal over the weekend after earlier visiting Notre Dame. Russell attended Cal’s Junior Day last summer, so this was his second time in Berkeley.

“I really enjoyed myself,” Russell said. “There was only seven players there, so I got to spend a lot of time with the coaches and the academic advisers. That’s why I wanted to visit this weekend instead of next and I’m definitely glad I did.

“I enjoyed watching the team practice and got a good feel for how Coach [Ron] Gould coaches. I got to sit in on position meetings and see him on the chalk board, he’s definitely one of the best running back coaches in the country and Cal has had a string of big time running backs.”

Russell did say the depth chart was a small concern for him.

“Next year, they will have two senior running backs, who rotate in, plus Brendan Bigelow and Daniel Lasco are freshman, so they have some guys back there for sure," he said. " The coaches told me I’m a different kind of back than what they have now, and I can do some different things.

“I know I don’t want to redshirt and that was never mentioned. They want me to come in and be ready to compete for playing time. In comparing this visit with Notre Dame, I liked both a lot and can’t say one was better than the other. Notre Dame had a little better atmosphere, Cal was better socially. Both have great academic support although the alumni support at Notre Dame is incredible. I’ll compare all my schools a little more after my last visit.”

Russell said he has had no luck getting a hold of USC over the last two week to set up a visit and is wondering if they’re still interested.

“I’m not sure what’s going on there,” Russell said. “I’ve been calling them but not hearing back. I still have Washington on my list and they want me to visit this week but I’m not sure if I can make it. I’ll for sure visit, so hopefully I can get that locked in soon.”