As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news , tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators. Randy Russell back on market
Recruiting may come full circle for Randy Russell.
The 3-star safety from Carol City High School (Miami) named Florida his top school earlier this year, then committed unexpectedly to Miami on Feb. 18.
His decision caught many people off guard, including Russell.
“I was surprised, too,” he said.
Florida’s reaction to his Miami pledge also surprised Russell. UF coaches did not get upset over his decision, he said. Instead, they congratulated him and continued their pursuit.
“I really respect them for that,” Russell said.
That respect could go a long way in Florida’s recruitment of Russell, who de-committed from the Hurricanes last week after visiting UF on June 6.
“I really like Florida,” Russell said. “Florida itself is a prestigious school. The fans here are crazy. Being able to get a degree from here, it says something. This is a home and it’s great to feel like they really want me to come here.
“I like hearing from Florida and from other schools. I’m just enjoying the whole recruiting process, soaking it all in and just dissecting everything.”
UF signed a school-record 10 South Florida recruits in the Class of 2017, including four defensive backs from the area. Russell has a relationship with each player, particularly C.J. Henderson and Brian Edwards.
“I know all of them,” Russell said. “Florida, especially defensive back wise, they’ve become very popular. That’s why they’re able to get some of the players from Miami. They come from where I am. So just being able to see them and relate, it’s big.
“I’ve been on a visit and they were there. We just hung out, chilled and relaxed. They said they loved (Florida). What they heard from the coaches is true. They say it feels like a second home for them.” Bell, Shannon recruiting Russell Florida defensive coordinator Randy Shannon and secondary coach Corey Bell are both recruiting Russell.Bell has been in contact with him for more than two years.“Coach Bell is one of the first coaches to actually recruit me so our relationship goes far beyond him being at Florida,” Russell said. “It extends from him being at South Florida and FAU.“It’s been a long relationship and it’s strong. We talk on levels that don’t even concern football. He always checks in on my family and how my grades are doing. It’s bigger than football.”Russell is also a big fan of Shannon, who was promoted to defensive coordinator after Florida’s bowl game. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back believes he fits well in Shannon’s defense.“I have been in three different schemes in my high school career so I’ve played corner, safety and linebacker,” Russell said. “With me being able to play all of those positions, Florida would […]