When Marquin Russell (Lakewood, Wash./Lakes) was on his official visit to Montana over the weekend, the coaching staff set three goals.
No. 1: Academics are first. Get your degree.
No. 2: Beat Montana State.
No. 3: Win championships.
The 6-foot, 180-pound receiver liked what he heard. When Grizzlies coach Mick Delaney followed up with an in-home visit Wednesday, Russell was convinced. He gave the program a verbal commitment.
“I loved the atmosphere," said Russell, who also had offers from UNLV, Idaho and Army. “I loved the town, the people, the coaches, the players. I know this may sound a little weird, but it feels like I’ve been playing with the players for a while. It was that kind of greeting, that kind of first impression with the players and the coaches.”
Russell plans to major in business. He likes the courses Montana offers. During his discussions with Delaney, the coach emphasized the little things, and that resonated with the prospect.
“It’s the little things that count,” he said. “I’m from a program at Lakes like that. They’re disciplined, but they’re loving at the same time. I feel like I’m a perfect fit for Montana.”
In addition to making Russell feel like the Grizzlies were the right fit, Delaney also convinced the receiver’s parents during the in-home visit.
“My parents are in love with them,” he said. “They’re in love with my parents. My dad likes what coach Delaney talks about. My dad is kind of old fashioned and that’s what he likes. That’s what I like. I’m raised by a military dad so it was welcoming to me and my family.”
Now that the decision has been made, Russell is ready to enjoy the rest of his senior year.
“It’s very exciting,” Russell said. “It’s like a monkey off the top of my back. I’m very excited. I don’t have any regrets about the school I chose. When you don’t have any regrets then you know you made the right decision. And I know I made the right decision.”