Player Spotlight: John Russ

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Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff
Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

After a year of hard work and practice, redshirt freshman John Russ is more than ready for this season to start. Russ has recently earned the position of starting quarterback not only by his performance on the field, but by also serving as a leader to his teammates. He has high expectations this season but knows whatever goals are set won’t come easy. Russ sat down with The Cluster to talk more about his football career.

 

Cluster: Where are you from?

Russ: Buford, GA

C: When did you start playing sports?

R: I started playing football when I was seven.

 

C: Why did you start playing football?

R: My brother is four years older than me and he started playing football first, so I wanted to be like my big brother.

 

C: Were you always a quarterback?

R: No, I was a center my first year. After that I became a quarterback.

 

C: What is your favorite NFL team?

R: Pittsburgh Steelers

 

C: What players do you admire?

R: Drew Brees from the New Orleans Saints. He’s kind of short like me, so I measure myself up to him. I also like Aaron Rodgers. They’re both great quarterbacks.

 

C: How would you describe yourself as a player?

R: They call me a gunslinger. I’m pretty quick and like to run the ball a little bit. I like to be smart with ball too and not make any turnovers or throw any picks. That’s my job. It’s more than just throwing touchdowns. If I don’t turnover the ball, we have a chance to win every game. I try to be accurate with my passes, run a little bit too, and be a “gunslinger.” That’s just me.

 

C: What is your greatest memory in football?

R: My junior year in high school, we went to the elite eight in the playoffs and we beat Etowah and South Gwinnett in the first two playoff games that we played. I had good games against them so it was a good time.

 

C: And your worst?

R: Going right back to my junior year in the playoffs, we lost the third game to Colquitt County. We lost 27-14. I had a bad game. I felt like I left my team out there and that I messed it up for them.

 

C: Describe your perfect pregame meal.

R: I could go with a burger, maybe some pizza, mac and cheese, maybe some bread with that. Anything really. It’s not really healthy at all. It’s a terrible pregame meal but hey, I’ll eat it.

 

C: What do you do to prepare for each game, physically and mentally?

R: I watch a lot of film. I try to be really crisp in practice. Before games I listen to music and try to calm down and relax. For a quarterback you can’t get too excited. You have to stay mellow the entire game. Make sure you’re doing it right every single play.

 

C: Once you’re done playing Division I football, what do you plan on doing?

R: I plan on doing whatever I end up focusing on in my business major. Maybe accounting or finance. I’d like to go to grad school too and maybe be a grad assistant for the football team.

 

C: Do you think that football will always be apart of your life?

R: I think that I will always be around football just because I love the sport so much. Even if it’s not my job, I’ll help out with my kids, maybe help out with the high school team every now and then. I just think it’d be fun to do that.

 

C: What are your expectations for this season?

R: My expectations are for us to just be competitive in every single game, to work hard, and to have fun. We’re going to make mistakes out there, but as long as we’re competitive in every game we play, I think we’ll have a good season.

 

Russ and his fellow teammates with compete in the Bears’ first game in 72 years on Saturday at the Tony and Nancy Moye Football and Lacrosse Complex. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m.