September 16, 2008

Hawkeyes in the lead for Russell?

Nick Russell came to Iowa City this past weekend not knowing what to expect on his official visit. After returning to his home in Arlington, Texas on Sunday night, it appears that the trip was a successful one and the talented point guard really enjoyed his time on the Iowa campus.

"I liked it a lot and had a lot of fun. The players are great, the people are great, and the coaches are great. Everything about it was really good. I felt like I fit in perfectly," Russell said on Monday night.

The 6-foot-4 point guard, who is rated by as one of the Top 150 prospects in the Class of 2009 was hosted on his visit by freshman Matt Gatens. He said that the guys on the team made him feel very comfortable.

"I hung out with Matt (Gatens) a lot. I also got to know Cyrus (Tate), Jermain (Davis), Anthony (Tucker), Jake Kelly, and Andrew (Brommer). Really everyone was great."

Russell arrived in Iowa City on Thursday evening with his mother and on Friday they were able to tour the Iowa campus and they also attended a class to get a better feel for what it would be like as a student. On Friday night they went to dinner with members of the coaching staff and he spent time with some of the players later that evening.

Then on Saturday morning, Russell and his mother watched the Iowa Basketball team take part of the traditional shirt and skins scrimmage before heading over to Kinnick Stadium to watch the in-state battle between Iowa and Iowa State. Russell loved the atmosphere and fan support he saw at the game.

"The football game was just crazy. The rivalry game was great and a lot of fun," he said. "Some of the fans even knew who I was and they started chanting my name. I didn't see that one coming at all, but it makes me feel wanted for sure."

Next up for Russell will be a trip to the Texas Tech campus this coming weekend, where he will certainly do some comparison shopping as he looks at another potential college destination.

"I have to go see what it is like there. I really don't know what to expect, but I am looking forward to it to see what they have to offer," Russell said. "I will try to compare it to Iowa and hopefully it will help me figure out where I fit me best."

Russell said that the visit to Iowa puts them on top for the moment simply because he hasn't made any other visits at this point and that a decision may or may not be coming soon.

"Iowa was my first visit, so they are ahead because they were first, but we will have to wait and see how it goes. Most likely I will take all five of my visits, but if the time is right, there might be a surprise."

Russell is also still scheduled to take a visit to UCLA at the end of September and Arkansas is making a push and was planning to make an in-home visit on Monday night.

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