April 14, 2010

Russell ready after redshirt season

Tyler Russell came to Mississippi State as one of the most highly rated quarterbacks ever to sign in school history.

Naturally there were plenty of high expectations for the former Parade All-American to see the field immediately. But with a redshirt year under his belt now, Russell is making a push to be the Bulldogs starter this spring.

"Overall I think the spring is going pretty good," Russell said. "I think I'm a lot more ahead of myself of where I was in the fall and especially coming in during the summer. The redshirt helped me out a lot. Now I can just work on my fundamentals. I don't have to worry about what I have to do about learning the plays or who my read are because I know that. Now I can just go out there and play football."

The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder enrolled at MSU in June following a standout prep career at Meridian (Miss.) High School. Russell began preparing to play as a true freshman working third team behind Tyson Lee and Chris Relf before it was decided midway through the season that he should redshirt.

"At first they weren't for sure that they were going to redshirt me so I had to prepare every game because I might have went in, especially in the Houston game," Russell said. "It's all mental in what you have to do. After I found out I was for sure going to redshirt I could just sit back and learn the offense and learn from Chris and Tyson to see what they were doing right and doing wrong. I had a chance to work with the scout team and run basically the same plays. I got to throw the ball a ton and as I threw the ball more I got better."

Russell spent his redshirt year gaining knowledge of Dan Mullen's offense and feels that everyone on offense has a better understanding of things now.

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