Copyright: Jason Caldwell, 247Sports
Highly acclaimed full-back Qua Russaw made his decision and signed for Alabama on Wednesday.
“It was a long thought process and at the end I just had to make a decision,” he told On3’s Chad Simmons of his choice. “And I think I’m going to put myself in the best position going to Alabama. Everyone loves Alabama in the state, and I just kept coming back to Alabama.”
A native of Montgomery, Alabama is No. 22 Overall recruit and ranks third in his position in the 247Sports composite rankings for the 2023 class.
247Sports’ Cooper Petagna reviewed Russaw in January, writing that the 6’2″, 230-pound defenseman will likely spend time as both a pure pass rusher and an off-ball linebacker:
“Quick Twitch Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage. Compensates for lack of edge length with skill and ability to play with power. Demonstrates heavy hands at attack point. Demonstrates ability to generate consistent pass rush with initial quickness, skill and motor skills. Plays off the ball with excellent distance and approach speed, showing violence at the point of attack.”
Russaw is one of two notable defensive standouts at Carver High School.
Defensive lineman James Smith is 18th overall in the 247Sports composite rankings. On3’s Peter Warren noted in June that the pair “made a lot of their visits together, potentially ending up as a next-level package deal”.
blacksmith is to join Russaw in Tuscaloosa.
Despite sharing the same field as Smith, Russaw didn’t have much trouble commanding the spotlight. He finished his junior campaign with a stunning 130 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks.
Not surprisingly, Russaw has not lacked interest from elite Power Five programs. Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, Florida, Clemson, USC, Ole Miss and LSU were among the schools that offered him a scholarship.
Early on, his versatility would go a long way in getting him onto the field regularly with the Crimson Tide. Head coach Nick Saban will be comfortable using him in a few different roles on defense, and Petagna noted that special teams is one area where he can contribute as well.
Right now, Russaw isn’t branding himself as an Aidan Hutchinson- or Will Anderson-style pass rusher, seemingly wreaking havoc with every descent. But his sack total from 2021 at Carver speaks for itself. He should become a valuable linebacker in Alabama’s plan.