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I've been curious for a while and figured it was a good time to ask this question about the future of Russel. I know we recruited him for offense and that's where even he was expecting to play until camp started. He's stepped in and done a really good job from what I can tell. Sure, he's had some learning moments, but he hasn't left his jock on the field with a man streaking behind him for a score.
So what about Russel next year? How does he rate against some of the big time CBs were's still going after? Will he automatically be replaced by them because he's that much less of a player, or is he good enough to stay at corner for the next 3 years? If he gets beat out, do we move him back to offense, or let him add depth to the our group of D Backs?
I'm not good enough at evaluating talent to know how well he's really done, and I'm curious what people think about his perfomrance based on where he'll be playing in the future.
In my opinion, any corners that we land this year will be jockeying in position to take over Jackson's spot since he graduates after next season.
Otherwise, I'm sure the staff would subscribe to the philosophy of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I'm no talent evaluator, either, but anytime you get a Freshman who performs as well as Russell has, so far, it would take a real prodigy to dislodge him from the position. That, plus the talent at RB, suggests he may have found a home on defense.
I may not be pretty, but I'm fast.....
POTW 1/31/11 - 2/6/11
6-Time POTW Winner, 4 time at BGI and 2 at 24/7
I think we can find the answer in Brian Kelly's own sentiment:
No single player on this team, no matter who they are or their level of seniority, is entitled to anything. Every player on this team must compete, day in and day out, to prove that they deserve to start. For example: at the beginning of the season, Kona Schwenke seemed to be the consensus starter at the Nose. But Irish Chocolate outperformed him in practice and in games, and now Big Lou is starting.
I think that if one of the incoming freshman corners proves to be a better option to start, then Mr. Russell takes a back seat. That's not a commentary on his ability, it's just the sentiment of a coaching staff that will settle for nothing but the best players on the field at all times. This type of weekly and constant competition between players (with particular emphasis on a constructive and team-oriented approach) was totally absent during the Weis years, with obvious and historical results.
I look forward to seeing him start at corner for the next three years. He has the athleticism, the swagger, and is gaining experience at the position
I think it has been hard to tell this year to give a good fan evaluation mainly because of where the camera has been. On the three best teams we've faced, it has primarily been on LeVeon Bell, Denard, and Taylor.
But it is always a GOOD sign that your defensive backs dont get too much camera time especially if you play zone primarily. They're like officials and commentators: the good ones seem like they aren't really out there.
One of the things that get judged for a DB isnt so much how fast he runs but how fast he stops. BJ seems to do this better than Kavarae. If healthy, his job is more secure IMO. Kavarae will be fighting to keep his, maybe as early as by Wood or if we can get our hands on a top flight CB.
We have good depth there. Get an elite CB and DB will be come the least of our concerns. Replacing Nix, Tuitt, and Teo ARE big concerns.
CMC Quote Master and Director of Football Related Discussions
5 Time POTW & 2 Time WPOTW Winner
No question the every day competition keeps that edge on everybody's performance. Russell and Bjax are both better corners now then they were on opening day and keep getting better every week, as do most of the players on the team. Regardless, it's hard to envision another freshman displacing either one next season. This year was sort of a 'perfect storm' with Manti deciding to stay on and then the Navy game being jumped to opening day and followed by 3 games against ordinary or weak passing teams. Now it's a different defensive story. Those games were perfect stepping stones for our young Defenders but, as good as it has turned out, it isn't something you want to rely on as a Coach or a fan. Even a freshman who demonstrates equal physical skills can't replace the real game experience.
My thoughts exactly!
CMC: President, Monkey Motor Sports, Inc., a CMC Racing Venture
You keep russel for sure. If this is how he is playing as a freshman after being recruited for offense, then imagine how good he will be as a junior and senior
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