I tweeted a question this morning, asking who you wanted to see a Q&A with on today’s blog. You said running back Donald Russell, or “The Donald,” as some of you call him.
Russell transferred from Kentucky in the summer of 2011. No one was quite sure what he would do at Georgia State. He showed flashes at Lexington, but he didn’t get a lot of playing time. He came to Atlanta slightly overweight (more on that below), but still rushed for 665 yards.
Now slimmer, he’s ready to go.
Q: How fast are you running the 40?
A: In the 40, I run a 4.5. I’d like to say I can beat Albert [Wilson], but I’m just kidding myself.
Q: What were you last year?
A: Last year, I was about a 4.6.
Q: You knocked a tenth off. That’s a good thing.
A: Yeah, I’ve been working with coach Pollard, he’s done a great job with us in the offseason to knock some time off.
Q: A lot of fans have a lot of expectations for you. They think you are going to be THE GUY this year. How do you handle that, or do you even think about it?
A: You don’t really think about it too much. It’s a team effort. I ‘m here to help my guys anyway I can. I’ll be on a few special teams this year. I’m just trying to do everything I can to help the team win. To me, it’s all about winning.
Q: Did you volunteer for special teams or were you assigned?
A: I volunteered. I played a lot when I was at Kentucky. I feel like I can help the team.
Q: Kickoff coverage, punt returns?
A: Kickoff and punt returns.
Q: Returning punts or blocking?
A: Blocking. They won’t let me return punts. They won’t let me.
Q: Do you have any individual goals for the season, a thousand yards, anything like that? [Offensive coordinator John Bond says 1,000 yards is a realistic goal]
A: I haven’t really thought about it too much. Just helping the team out with any rushing I can do. I’m just trying to be a better back. I’ve been working on catching the ball out of the backfield too. I don’t have any individual goals.
Q: You had some nagging injuries that affected you last year. How’s your health?
A: My health is really good. Last year’s camp, I came in a little overweight. This year I’m at a very good weight. I’m feeling healthy, I’m feeling good, I’m light on my feet. I’m happy about that.
Q: What weight are you?
A: I’m 210.
Q: What were you last year?
A: I came in at 240 pounds.
Q: 240, that explains the tenth of a second in the 40.
Q: How comfortable are you now compared to last year?
A: Very comfortable. We have a great offensive coordinator in coach Bond. He’s been helping us out a lot. Coach Hamilton has been helping us out a lot. I can’t wait to get on the field.
Q: Off the field now, favorite Olympic moment so far?
A: I have a good friend, Tony McQuay, that’s running the 400. I enjoyed the women’s 100. I was going for Carmelita Jeter and was kind of surprised she came in second. It was a great race. I think they run the 200 final today. I’m looking forward to that too.
Q: Why are you looking forward to that?
A: I want to see Usain [Bolt]. I want to see what he runs. He’s got good competition. I want to see if he can pull it off again.
Q: Can you beat Usain? [ a joke, folks]
A: Give me a few months.
Q: How about Albert?
A: Oh yeah, Albert could.
– Doug Roberson, AJC.
Another link, por vouz (in honor of all the French spam I’m suddenly receiving)