USC had one of their top running back prospects in for an official visit over the weekend in former Arkansas commitment Braylon Russell (6-1 225) of Benton, AR. This was his first ever visit to USC though he was familiar with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains from his time at Arkansas.
Russell had heard a lot from Loggains and running backs coach Monterio Hardesty about what the program has to offer, but he wanted to see it for himself. Russell was glad he did.
“What you see is what you get up there at the University of South Carolina. It was really a good experience for me,” Russell said. “They’ve coached big backs in the past, like big NFL backs. They said they would use me as an all down back. They said I can black, run, catch, got good vision. They are going to use me to my strengths up there at South Carolina.”
Russell also had heard previously from Gamecock head coach Shane Beamer, but he got the chance to meet with him in person during the visit. In fact, Russell said Beamer was never far from his reach during the weekend.
“Usually when I go to a school, you can’t find the head coach, he’s always somewhere else,” Russell said. “Everywhere we went, Coach Beamer was right there with us. Shows that he really supports the recruiting process. They are building something great at South Carolina. They are really building a big family over there. They all love it. They bond. Everyone came to the dorm room, and we all hung out and bonded. It was like I knew them all my life, and I just met them. What they are building over there is really a family bond.”
Russell has a July 14th date set for making his commitment announcement. The Gamecocks apparently showed him enough to be in the mix with him to the end.
“It really opened my eyes because I’d never been down there to South Carolina,” he said. “It really opened me up to South Carolina. I really liked it when I went down there. It really opened my eyes.”
This Thursday Russell will take an official visit to Baylor. He is scheduled to visit Purdue this coming weekend but he’s not sure that visit will still take place. He will take an official to Arkansas June 16th and one to Tennessee June 23rd.
Last season Russell rushed for 1892 yards and 27 touchdowns.