- Mason Kelley, Reporter, Recruiting Nation
LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Marquin Russell (Lakewood, Wash./Lakes) called the recruiting process “nerve-racking” Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot, 180-pound receiver stood in coach Dave Miller’s office. As Russell talked about weighing the four scholarship offers he currently holds from Idaho, Army, UNLV and Montana, the Lancers’ football coach briefly interrupted.
“Nerve-racking is not having any offers,” Miller said with a laugh.
Russell cracked a quick smile and said that while he is excited to have options, the difficult part is making sure he finds the right fit.
“I’ve just got to choose carefully,” Russell said. “I’m really excited, though.”
He takes the next step in the process this weekend when he will visit Montana with his teammate and Washington receiver commit Sammie Long. Russell wants to see if the Grizzlies’ program feels “welcoming.”
“I just want to go somewhere that’s welcoming,” he said. “A welcoming team is a building team and they can get better. That’s what I’m mainly looking for. Wherever I go is going to offer me great academic studies but, sports-wise, it’s the welcoming part.”
Miller has built Lakes into one of Washington’s prominent programs. But in 2012, with a team loaded with young talent, the Lancers struggled at times. As one of the program’s senior leaders, Russell learned lessons he will carry with him to college.
“We didn’t have the record we wanted, but I played every game to the best of my ability,” he said. “That’s what I’m happy for. That’s why I don’t have any regrets for this season.”
Over the past few years, Lakes has sent prospects such as Zach Banner (USC) and Cedric Dozier (Cal) to Pac-12 programs. Russell has slipped under the radar. He has set a goal to prove he can play at the next level.
“You have to be competitive and hungry all the time,” he said. “That’s just my nature.”
13hTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney