March 12, 2008

Memphis picks up JUCO commit

Los Angeles (Calif.) Pierce C.C. prospect Chaz Russell got all he needed to make his college commitment, an offer from Memphis. The 6-foot-0, 195-pound athlete recently committed to be a Memphis Tiger and looks as though he will be bringing a lot to the table in West Tennessee.

"Memphis threw me the offer and I threw them a soft verbal commitment," Russell said. "It's a soft verbal only because my mom thinks I should wait until my birthday to see what happens. My birthday is in June and after Spring Practice. She thinks that when teams see me work out in the Spring I may get more offers."

Though his mother has helped temper his decision, she is also one of the reasons for the commitment in the first place.

"She likes Memphis," said the Fort Lauderdale native. "Her opinion is important to me. I've been seeing that Memphis is getting on the map. It's on the rise. They went to a bowl game last year."

Russell has an added comfort level at Memphis also because a former high school teammate has signed with the Tigers for the 2008 class, a fact that played a strong role in his decision.

"My friend Kindley Jacques signed with them," he said. "He blocked for me in high school. He said that they take care of you there and they do a great job."

In Russell, the Tigers are getting a versatile player with a lot of intangibles as well.

"I know the game of football," he said. "They're getting a good player. I told them that they'd be missing out on a great player if they didn't offer me."

On the field, Russell does it all for his junior college program.

"Right now I'm starting at corner," he said. "I'm an athlete though. They move me all over the field. I play some cornerback, I play some receiver, I return kicks and punts, I hold on field goals and extra points. When I'm on the bench my feet start hurting. I hate not being in the game."




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