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Russell has been a stable force in the Ohio State secondary over the past two years as a starter at the free safety spot. Unfortunately, his last play heading into this season was a missed interception that allowed Texas receiver Quan Cosby to score the winning touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl. But expect that to fuel, not hinder, the senior's play in 2009.
He actually took the starting reins at free safety early in his redshirt freshman season, but needed surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered against Iowa in the fifth game of the year. Russell earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from league coaches with an impressive sophomore campaign. He always seemed to be in the correct position, making 63 tackles, seven for loss, three sacks and five pass breakups. Although he didn't get any conference accolades for 2008, Russell actually made more stops (67), intercepted two passes and forced three fumbles on the season.
Scouts appreciate the versatility he shows as an in-the-box tackler and centerfielder, making him a likely late third- or early fourth-round pick with another solid campaign. Having a father who played in the league doesn't hurt, either; Kevin Russell was a 1977 draft pick of the Eagles who played with Ed "Too Tall" Jones at Tennessee State.
Read & React: Adept at recognizing run and pass plays. Excellent range in the deep half, reads the quarterback's eyes and is quick enough to undercut receivers to the ball. Gets from the hash to the sidelines quickly to prevent a throw downfield or a game-breaking play.
Man Coverage: Versatile enough to handle slot coverage responsibilities. Has a relatively smooth and quick backpedal for a safety, and is physical enough to prevent separation off the line. Good straight-line speed and better change of direction abilities than most safeties; able to stay with receivers down the seam or covering the out route.
Zone Coverage: Excellent range patrolling the back half of the secondary. Aware of receivers in his zone, and stays with them while still keeping an eye on the ball. Good hands for the interception, and is able to high-point the ball or reach over a receiver to make the play without drawing a penalty.
Closing/Recovery: Reads the quarterback's eyes from the deep half and has the closing speed to make the interception or separate the receiver from the ball. Gets to the sideline in a hurry, especially when the ball is in the air. Does not always take correct angles to the ball, and will overrun the play and miss open-field tackles.
Run Support: When playing in the box, Russell will take on guard or fullback blocks to make a pile near the line. Attacks running backs breaking into the second level when playing deep, and tries to put his helmet on the football. Does not disengage from receiver or tight end blocks quickly.
Tackling: Strong cut tackler who gets to the thigh of the ball carrier. Works hard to get to the pile to prevent the extra yard. Inconsistent wrapping up and dragging down backs, especially those with above-average size. Usually breaks down and secures the tackle in space, but will duck his head and miss in the open field on occasion.
Intangibles: Two-year starter with the work ethic coaches respect and leadership qualities his teammates appreciate. No character concerns.
NFL Comparison: Quentin Demps, Philadelphia Eagles
3 solo stops against Navy 4 tackles in the Toledo game sack, 2 tackles in win over Illinois 6 tackles led the Buckeyes at Indiana also had an interception and a fumble recovery against the Hoosiers 3 tackles in Wisconsin win 7 tackles at Purdue TFL and forced a Minnesota fumble defensive player of week: Indiana TFL and 3 tackles against New Mexico State pair of interceptions in the Iowa win, one in overtime 5 tackles in win at Michigan 6 solo stops in Rose Bowl Arnie Chonko Award from Ohio State coaches for defensive back play Top Ten Tenacious twice Big Ten all-academic June, 2009, graduate fourth-year letterwinner.
67 tackles for the year as the starting free safety 15-yard interception and six tackles against Ohio eight tackles at USC forced two Minnesota fumbles, recovering one also had seven stops against the Gophers seven tackles at Wisconsin pair of tackles and a pass breakup at Michigan State nine tackles against Penn State recovered a Northwestern fumble and made nine tackles three tackles and a PBU in Michigan win nine tackles, an interception and forced a fumble in the Fiesta Bowl defensive champion: Minnesota third-year letterman.
Honorable Mention All--Big 10 (coaches). Came back from knee surgery with an outstanding campaign first team all-Big Ten (Rivals) fourth on team with 63 tackles for season seven TFL, three sacks, five PBU for 2007 seven tackles in the win over Youngstown State eight tackles at Washington sack and a forced fumble in Northwestern win pair of sacks (-18) in the Purdue victory six tackles in win at Penn State eight tackles vs. Wisconsin Jim Marshall "Warrior" award second-year letterman.
Moved up the depth chart throughout preseason, then a six-tackle effort against Northern Illinois in the season-opener vaulted him into the starting role at free safety in week two at Texas ... had three tackles against the Longhorns and six more the following week vs. Cincinnati as he secured his starting job ... injured his knee in week five at Iowa and missed the rest of the season ... finished with 16 tackles in his five games, eight of which were solos ... notched his first collegiate interception in the win over the Bearcats ... had a tackle behind the line of scrimmage against NIU.
Played with the scout team and did not see any game action ... impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic and understanding of what was expected of him ... came close to being thrown into the fray a couple of times, but was ultimately redshirted.
Named as one of the Top 50 players in the state of Georgia by the Atlanta Journal Constitution ... rushed for 758 yards, averaged 8.4 yards per carry and scored 14 touchdowns as a senior in a wishbone attack ... was Marist's leading receiver with seven catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns ... averaged 19.1 yards on kickoff returns.
Is the son of Kevin and Karen Russell ... his dad played football with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL and his brother, Brandon, played at the University of North Carolina.
Draft Scout Player News
03/02/14 - S Anderson Russell was signed to the Panthers' offseason roster.
09/07/13 - S Anderson Russell was waived from reserve/injured with an injury settlement by the Panthers Friday.
09/02/13 - S Anderson Russell was placed on reserve/injured Sunday.
09/01/13 - S Anderson Russell was waived/injured by the Panthers Saturday and will be placed on reserve/injured after clearing waivers..
12/12/12 - S Anderson Russell was signed by the Panthers from their practice squad Tuesday.
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