It is Race Day in Central Indiana, but it also marks 97 days to Purdue football. Why is that important? Well, it is the first of our countdown profiles of each player on the roster. Numbers 99 and 98 haven't been assigned yet, so Ryan Russell is our first player to be profiled.
Ryan Russell - Fr. (RS)
Hometown: Carrollton, TX (Creekview HS)
6'5", 250 lbs.
2011 Projection: Possible Starter at Defensive End
Ryan has potentially big shoes to fill, as he could be tabbed as the new starter on the defensive line to replace unanimous All-American Ryan Kerrigan. Obviously holding Russell to those lofty expectations is probably a little much, but I like was what Ryan has as his Twitter quote:
Relentless drive determines everything I want and plan to obtain in my life.
Ryan seems like a guy that truly developed in his redshirt year. He was a two-star recruit coming to Purdue, but he is viewed as a rising star in the Big Ten by some even though he has yet to play a down. He took a large number of the first team reps in the spring, so we'll likely see a lot of him this fall. He has the size to make an impact too. Here is what he had to say during the spring:
Personally, I am looking forward to seeing him get a shot. I heard some very positive things about him during his redshirt year, so let's get him out there. He was even one of the few guys that got to keep his redshirt considering all the injuries we had.