April 10, 2009

Russell not rattled by lofty expectations

Tyler Russell is one of the highest rated quarterbacks ever to sign with Mississippi State.

With all the accolades and honors he received at Meridian (Miss.,) High School it is only natural for fans to have high expectations for the four-star signee.

But Russell has taken all those high hopes in stride and continues to work towards getting himself in the best possible condition to compete when he arrives on campus.

"Right now there really is no pressure because I'm not up there," Russell said. "But I believe as soon as I get on campus there will be a lot of pressure. People are talking about 'you need to play, you need to play' but Coach (Dan) Mullen and the coaching staff are going to do what's best for me. If I'm not ready then I'm not going to be ready 'til I am ready. That's just the way I look at it."

Russell got his first glimpse of his future team when he visited the Starkville campus with his father, Craig, on Thursday.

"I liked it," Russell said. "(Mullen) kind of got me for standing off to the side. He kind of pulled me over there so I could watch Tyson, Chris and the other quarterbacks work a little bit so that was fun. For a kid just coming out of high school or that's still in high school, being in that environment of college football and SEC football is kind of scary in a way. But all the guys that are there just make you feel at home."

Being that close to the action during the Bulldogs scrimmage, Russell was able to see firsthand the discrepancy in speed the Southeastern Conference is than at the high school level.

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