Q&A with GSU running back Donald Russell

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.

A: Definitely.

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)

GSU waiting to hear from NCAA on three key transfers

19 comments Add your comment


August 7th, 2012
1:18 pm

Awesome interview. The Donald is my favorite player, even more so after reading this. I can’t wait to see him show the CAA why he should have been on a All Pre-Season team.


August 7th, 2012
1:28 pm

Tremendous interview. In an age of divas, Donald VOLUNTEERED for special teams to block. Not to receive punts/kicks. To BLOCK.

I love this kid and #PantherNation is ready.



August 7th, 2012
1:30 pm

What a refreshing interview. Selflessness and Team before ME! We appreciate The Donald. #STATE0fSHOCK8.30.12


August 7th, 2012
1:39 pm

Thanks Doug for the great interview and at the fans’ request too! This could be a big year for The Donald — 665 yards while splitting carries, missing a few games, and receiving limited carries towards the end of games.

Can’t WAIT for football #STATEOFSHOCK

[...] Q&A with GSU running back Donald Russell. [...]


August 7th, 2012
2:05 pm

I disagree with one thing he said and it was that he said Bond is a “great” offensive coordinator. lol! He should be pissed Bond didn’t give him the ball more last year. Other than that, he sounds like a great kid. I’m looking forward to him carry the rock far more.

Jee S. You

August 7th, 2012
2:14 pm

Nice to see that the team mentality seems to be more pervasive this year.

GSU is in Atlanta

August 7th, 2012
2:20 pm

Good questions and even better answers. Donald should have an impressive year and can’t wait to see him play.


August 7th, 2012
2:36 pm

Hope he stays healthy this year. Believe being more fit will help that.


August 7th, 2012
4:14 pm

GSU fans appreciate you, Donald. It’s great to have such a leader of this team. Go Panthers!


August 7th, 2012
6:02 pm

Do it DONALD! 1,000 for sure in 2012! Please give him the ball 20 times a game.


August 8th, 2012
11:03 am

Looking forward to seeing you have a great season this year!



August 8th, 2012
11:59 am

What a great guy! Great interview Doug!

[...] Q&A with running back Donald Russell [...]


August 8th, 2012
7:36 pm

What a great team player! Glad we have guys like him. Hope he runs for 1000 yards this year.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

August 9th, 2012
11:39 am

Hilarious! This guy would be on the scout team or 4th-string at Georgia Tech.

[...] Here’s a Q&A with GSU running back Donald Russell. [...]

[...] Q&A with running back Donald Russell [...]

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