DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - For Anthony Russell, it has been a trying senior season. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end suffered a torn ACL in his right knee that sidelined him throughout the season. While he just got good news from the doctors with regards to his rehabilitation, his coaches at Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland decided to err on the side of caution with regards to putting him back on the field immediately for their playoff games.
"I got approved to play like a week or two ago," Russell said. "The coaches just don't want me to get hurt so they took me off the roster for the playoffs just in case I wanted to step on the field. I have no choice but to root my team on and help the tight end that is stepping in for me. That is tough but I know they are just looking out for me."
While the injury prevented the athletic big man from playing this season, it hasn't led to his recruitment completely halting.
"I am hearing from a couple of schools," Russell said. "I have been talking to Rutgers, Purdue, Louisville, Miami, Middle Tennessee, Kentucky, Iowa State - mostly all of them have offered me. Nobody has really backed off me because of my injury. Everybody told me to basically make sure I got my rehab right, got my knee right. The only school that I used to hear from that I don't anymore is USF."
Starting in December, Russell is supposed to hit the road for some official visits.
"I am supposed to be going on an official visit to Rutgers on December 2nd," Russell said. "Purdue coach, Coach (Gary) Nord, said he is going to get with me on setting up a visit. They want me to come up there. Also Louisville and Miami want me to visit. It is all just a matter of time."
With regards to making a decision, Russell says it will simply come down to when he finds a school that feels right for him.
"I don't have to take all five," Russell said of his visits. "I just want to find the right place."
Mainland advanced to the second round of the playoffs this past Friday by defeated Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson.