99 Days To Purdue Football: Ryan Russell

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The senior defensive end could be one of the best in the Big Ten.

It's back! We're officially into double digits for the countdown to the 2014 season. As we begin the countdown I am about as cautiously optimistic as possible. Really, it can't be worse than last season. I am setting the over/under at four wins, with six possible if a lot of things finally begin to break our way. Mostly, I want to see improvement.

One of the players that will have a large role in this turnaround is today's featured player:

Ryan Russell - Sr.

Hometown: Carrollton, TX (Creekview)

Defensive End

6'5", 275 pounds

2014 Projection: Starting Defensive End

As a four-year starter, big things are expected for Russell this season. He needs to be both a leader and a defensive producer, especially after a bit of a down year in 2013. As a redshirt freshman in 2011 he forced and recovered three fumbles and had 33 tackles with a sack. The next year he had 37 tackles, 8.5 for loss, and four sacks, which set the stage for what was expected to be a big 2013.

Russell had 35 tackles last year, but was limited to only two sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. Most teams held him in check, and the promise of him being the next great DE in the Den of Defensive Ends fizzled somewhat.

Fortunately, he has one more year to turn that around, and he looked solid in the spring game. He finished with more sacks there then he had in all 12 games last year, and generally looked dominant coming off of the end. Purdue desperately needs that presence again, especially with a young back seven behind him. Russell has to channel his inner Kerrigan and be a guy that demands a double-team on every down. He is probably the most likely player to get drafted in 2015 on the current roster.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hammer and Rails

You must be a member of Hammer and Rails to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hammer and Rails. You should read them.

Join Hammer and Rails

You must be a member of Hammer and Rails to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hammer and Rails. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker