February 13, 2008

Russell among top Mississippi quarterbacks

New Rebel head coach Houston Nutt found the cupboard bare when it came to quarterbacks when he arrived in Oxford last November.

Gone were Brent Schaeffer and Seth Adams, both seniors, then redshirt freshman Michael Herrick was granted his release to transfer.

That left the Rebels with two quarterbacks on the roster - Jevan Snead and Billy Tapp - and required Nutt to sign two prospects last week.

He responded by signing Chris Wilkes and Nathan Stanley, both with SEC potential.

Depending on how Wilkes and Stanley work out this fall, Nutt may be in line to sign yet another quarterback prospect.

Mississippi is fairly well loaded at the position with Tupelo's Chris Garrett, who has already committed to Mississippi State, and Louisville's Clayton Moore.

Another name that fans are, or will be, familiar with is Meridan's Tyler Russell.

Russell, a 6-foot-4, 198 pound pro-style quarterback already has an offer from Mississippi State and host of other schools showing interest.

"I'm getting a lot of interest from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State," Russell said on Tuesday evening.

While Garrett pulled the trigger with a fall commitment to State, Russell is not in any hurry.

"I'm happy that they (State) offered, but I'll sit back and wait and see how the fall goes, then sit down with my family to see what's best for me and pray about it," Russell said.

When it comes to Ole Miss, Russell says he's interested and looking forward to his first visit to Ole Miss, either for junior day or to attend camp this summer.

"I've never been to the Ole Miss campus, but I have a lot of friends who their parents either attended Ole Miss or know someone who went to school there," Russell said. "I hear a lot of good things about the campus."

Russell said he is yet to hear much from the new Ole Miss staff, which is continuing its transition.

"I've received a couple of letters, but they weren't personal, they just talked about the new coaching staff at Ole Miss," Russell said.

Russell said he's looking for a school that runs an offense similar to what he's been running in high school - the spread - and where he feels comfortable and offers solid academics.

The junior has already attended Alabama's junior day and plans on visiting Auburn's junior day on Feb. 24.

He said he was impressed with Alabama's junior day, where he got to meet one on one with Tide head coach Nick Saban.

As a junior, Russell passed for 2,481 yards and 26 touchdowns, with only seven interceptions, and also rushed for seven scores.

He supports an impressive 3.3 GPA and has yet to take the ACT.

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