NCF On The Trail: Christian Russell

Notes on the final 2014 ESPN JC 50 

January, 28, 2014
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The Class of 2014 is almost in the books, and that includes the junior college ranks as well. While there aren’t major changes in the final 2014 ESPN Junior College 50, there are some noteworthy moves.

No longer in the 2014 class

Midyear Signings: Ole Miss

December, 21, 2013
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According to OleMissSports.com, the following players have signed with the Rebels:

Fahn Cooper, OT, Crystal Lake, Ill./College of Dupage
HT: 6-5 WT: 315
Positional Rank: No. 5 OT Juco
Stars: 4
ESPN JC50 (No. 18)

Jeremy Liggins, ATH, Oxford, Miss./Northwest Mississippi CC
HT: 6-4 WT: 285
Positional Rank: No. 2 ATH Juco
Stars: 4
ESPN JC50 (No. 20)

Christian Russell, ILB, Raeford, N.C./East Mississippi CC
HT: 6-1 WT: 245
Positional Rank: No. 1 ILB Juco
Stars: 4
ESPN JC50 (No. 22)

Kendrick Doss, QB-DT, Florence, Ala./Florence
HT: 6-2 WT: 215
Positional Rank: No. 23 QB-DT
Stars: 3

Christian Morris, OT, Memphis, Tenn./UCLA
HT: 6-6 WT: 290

Ole Miss scores big with DT McDowell

December, 20, 2013
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The Ole Miss Rebels continue to show they are here to stay under the direction of head coach Hugh Freeze. Already sitting at No. 15 in the RecruitingNation class rankings, the Rebels added to an impressive haul Friday, picking up a commitment from defensive tackle Garrald McDowell (Covington, La./Covington).

The 6-foot-1, 257-pound, athletic McDowell is the No. 110 prospect in the country, and becomes the fourth ESPN 300 prospect to pledge to Ole Miss following No. 49 Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Callaway), No. 92 Markell Pack (Purvis, Miss./Purvis) and No. 134 C.J Hampton (Meridian, Miss./Meridian).
Defensive tackle is a key position of need for the Ole Miss staff in the 2014 class. McDowell becomes the fourth defensive tackle to commit to the Rebels, a group that includes four-star senior riser Breeland Speaks (Jackson, Miss./Callaway).

Earlier in the week, the Rebels signed three four-star junior college prospects in offensive tackle Fahn Cooper (Crystal Lake, Ill./College of Dupage), defensive lineman Jeremy Liggins (Oxford, Miss./Northwest Mississippi Community College) and inside linebacker Christian Russell (Raeford, N.C./East Mississippi Community College).

Ole Miss now has 26 commitments, including 13 four-star prospects. The Rebels remain in the hunt for No. 65 overall Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), No. 120 Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) and four-star offensive guard Jordan Sims (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood), among others.

Ole Miss signed the No. 5 class a year ago, which included 2013 SEC All-Freshman selections Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), Robert Nkemdiche (Logansville, Ga./Grayson) and Antonio Conner (Batesville, Miss./South Panola).

McDowell will play in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN.

Early Offer: No doubting OSU's Meyer 

December, 17, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Ohio State moves up three spots in the RecruitingNation Class Rankings after the addition of five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan, but the Buckeyes aren’t done in the South yet; Notre Dame also moves into the top 10 after landing the nation’s No. 1 tight end; and the NJCAA All-America team features a number of well-known recruits.

Ohio State makes Southern push
Shortly after Ohio State landed five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), I asked on Twitter if it’s time to stop doubting Buckeye coach Urban Meyer’s recruiting efforts. Of course, fans from other schools all over the country jumped in and said the jury is still out (and several other things that aren’t safe for print). But even then the biggest Meyer critics might have to change their minds if he is able to also land No. 4 receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) in the next couple of days. The Buckeyes currently have the nation’s No. 8 class and have some major momentum heading into the final push.

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Juco Christian Russell SEC bound? 

August, 22, 2012
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Christian Russell was once all North Carolina Tar Heel. That seems to be the case no longer.

“I'm still open right now,” the 6-foot-1, 245-pound middle linebacker from East Mississippi Community College said. “I'm just taking it slow, taking it through the season. Probably by the end of the season I can make a decision where I want to go to.”

Who can blame Russell? Since he signed with North Carolina in February 2011, there's been a coaching change, NCAA sanctions and allegations of academic fraud among football and basketball players, which means the NCAA could be coming back again.

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Postgraduate 'backer Christian Russell (Raeford, N.C./Hargrave Military Academy) will not sign with the Tar Heels in February and is enrolled at East Mississippi C.C., according to Scout.com.

Russell originally signed with North Carolina in 2011, but he failed to qualify and enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy.

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