January 7, 2012

Russell determined to reach Austin

Quincy Russell's journey to the University of Texas took a detour to Athens.

As in Athens, Texas. As in the home of Trinity Valley Community College. As in an expected roadblock on the way towards fulfilling his vast potential.

However, what doesn't break you only makes you stronger, and the 6-4, 315-pound defensive tackle is determined to make it to Austin soon.

"I'm on track. Actually I'm ahead of time," Russell said. "I threw in some on-line classes over the Christmas break and every semester I take two on-line classes so I'm ahead of the game right now so I can finish in three semesters."

As a senior at San Antonio (Texas) Sam Houston, Russell was a U.S. Army All-American, ranked No. 125 in the Rivals250, and the No. 16 prospect in the state of Texas. He signed with Texas in February of 2011 with hopes of working under Longhorn defensive tackle coach Bo Davis and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

Russell still plans to join the Longhorns, and while he was disappointed he was not able to do so for the 2011 season, he has hit the ground running at Trinity Valley.

"Honestly, Quincy has been a blessing," Trinity Valley head coach Brad Smiley said. "He has an extremely good work ethic. When he first got here in the summer he was working out twice a day and he's just a great kid. He has a smile on his face and goes to work every day.

"He's doing well academically. He's taken care of everything so far and is doing some things online. So, hopefully we'll get him in and out of here in about 18 months and get him back down there to Texas. I'm excited for him and I think he's excited too and he's doing a really good job."

He has been a standout in the classroom, the weight room, and on the field for the Cardinals, showing the skills that helped make him such a highly sought recruit out of high school.

"Quincy's main strength, especially playing defensive line, is his athleticism and his ability to run. He's a big guy who can really move," Coach Smiley said. "To me, he's a big powerful guy who can move well and will get better as he improves technically. The more sound his fundamentals become the guy is just going to get better and better and better. The sky is the limit for Quincy. He's a heck of a talent and heck of a kid."

Russell did suffer a setback when he suffered a bone bruise on his shoulder during a practice session during the season.

"It didn't really cost him any playing time. We held him back on some reps during some games later in the year, but he's fine," Smiley said. "He gets up in the morning and does what he's supposed to do. Right now he's been a model college student athlete."

The shoulder is back to full strength according to Russell, and he is working to take the most out of his time at Trinity Valley.

"The best thing is I don't have all the distractions like you have a university with all the people and fans. We have a small community college, so I have more time to study and more people to help me and what I need. I have tutors for everything I do. If I pick up a class I have a tutor for it. That helps me out along the process for what I need to go onto the next level."

As a freshman Russell worked his way into a starting nose-tackle role on the Cardinal defense before suffering his injury, and coach Smiley is excited about what possibilities lie ahead for Russell as a member of the Cardinals' 2012 squad.

"He's 310-315, extremely powerful. I can't wait to see him go through offseason," Smiley said. "He moves so well for a big guy and plays with a lot of effort and a lot of heart. He runs around really well and makes a lot of plays obviously. Next year he's going to make an incredible amount of plays."

Russell is on track to graduate from Trinity Valley in December of 2012 with three years to play two seasons.

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