Hawkeye running back to turn Pro


Posted Nov 13, 2003


Iowa Hawkeye running back Fred Russell confirmed today that he will turn pro following this season provided he does not sustain any injuries from here on out. An All-Big 10 selection in 2002 after running for 1,264 yards and nine touchdowns, Russell has totaled 1,045 yards on 235 carries this year.

Russell was just one of three Iowa backs to rush for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

"It was a tough decision because I've got some records in front of me I can break," Russell told the Daily Iowan "but I'm about to graduate, and I'm ready for the next step of my life."

Russell played three games as true freshman before a collarbone injury cut short his season against Nebraska. He had a good chance to apply for another season.

Russell is hoping to play in the Hula Bowl this January in Hawaii. He added that he believes NFL teams see him as a "change of pace" back and said he could go as high as the second round. 

TFY Draft Preview Analysis: While Russell is right that he will be viewed as a "change of pace back" that is where it ends. A lack of size limits his to be anything other than a third down runner but then again, Russell's never displayed himself to be a receiver out of the backfield (six career receptions; one in 2002). Russell has returned kicks in the past and must do so if he is going to make a team next September. Right now, we project him as a fifth, possibly fourth round choice. Then again, that might not have improved much with another year in school.


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