In a strong year for linemen and receivers with regards to West Coast recruiting, the search for backfield workhorses doesn't run quite as deep. But there are always good talented names out there, and running back KeiVarae Russell appears to be one of them. The Mariner High prospect from Everett, Washington is one of those guys that seems to not only have a strong upside, but also has the profile in place to fit the typical Cal football recruit. Dave Hooker and Corey Long of ESPN recruiting have the details.
"It's all about academics for me," Russell said. "If you get a degree from Cal or Notre Dame, you are set for life, and Washington's academics are getting stronger each year.
Russell has named his top three, and they include schools that are known for having strong academic and athletic profiles. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have long been rumored to be Russell's favorite, and they will certainly have great pull as a traditional power. The Washington Huskies are the hometown team, and they would be a rather convenient pick in terms of location; they're also winning to let Russell play slot receiver, the position he favors. Finally, a dark horse that's emerging in the race is the California Golden Bears, who would want him at running back. With Brendan Bigelow, Darren Ervin and Daniel Lasco all positioned in the class in front of him (plus Trajuan Briggs and Dasarte Yarnway yet to make their make), Russell would probably be given time to develop before he'd be ready to see the field as a Bear.
Interestingly enough, Russell is being recruited hard by current Cal commit Zach Kline, according to Corey Long of ESPN recruiting. Is that a promising sign for a future commitment from Russell?