JaMarcus Russell: Wikis


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JaMarcus Russell

Russell in November 2008
No. 2     Oakland Raiders
Personal information
Date of birth: August 9, 1985 (1985-08-09) (age 24)
Place of birth: Mobile, Alabama
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
College: Louisiana State
NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Debuted in 2007 for the Oakland Raiders
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
TDINT     18–23
Passing yards     4,083
QB Rating     65.2
Stats at NFL.com

JaMarcus Russell (born August 9, 1985 in Mobile, Alabama) is an American football quarterback who plays for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Raiders with the first overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft.


Early years

Russell attended Lillie B. Williamson High School. For all four years under head coach Bobby Parrish, Russell started and never missed a game. In his freshman year, the 14-year old completed 180 of 324 passes for 2,683 yards and 20 touchdowns as Williamson reached the state championship game. By the next season, Russell had grown to 6'3" and 185 pounds, had received his first recruiting letters and was becoming more adept with the playbook. Russell was mentioned in a New York Times article in February 2001, when journalist Kevin Sack was detailing the reactions by the Mobile community when the local school district, in the face of budget deficits, proposed cutting extracurricular activities.[1]

Russell's best season was his senior year; completing 219 of 372 passes for 3,332 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for another 400 and five touchdowns. This earned Russell a Parade magazine All-American honorable mention.[2] His 10,774 (or 10,744) career passing yards broke the AHSAA record and still stands today.[3]

Russell was at the center of an ESPN Outside The Lines story on high school sports in Mobile, Alabama. He also played basketball and threw the javelin in track and field.

College career (2003-2006)


Sophomore season

In February 2003 on National Signing Day, Russell committed to Louisiana State University (LSU) over Florida State University (FSU), becoming the Tigers' 28th and final recruit of the 2003 season. He redshirted his freshman year and by the fall of the 2005 season, Russell was the undisputed starting quarterback for Louisiana State University. He led the Tigers to a 10-1 regular season record, the SEC Western Division title, and a top five ranking going into the SEC Championship Game. He also improved statistically, completing 60 percent of his passes for 2,443 yards and 15 touchdowns. Russell received an honorable mention on the AP's All-SEC Team.

Russell led the Tigers to two dramatic come-from-behind wins in the regular season. The first came on a 39 yard pass to Early Doucet on 4th down in the final minute of the game, as the Tigers defeated Arizona State 35-31. Later in the season, LSU defeated a then-undefeated Alabama team 16-13 when Russell completed a 14 yard touchdown to Dwayne Bowe in overtime for the win.

Russell injured his shoulder in a loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, and missed the team's bowl game. Backup quarterback Matt Flynn replaced Russell for the Peach Bowl against Miami, and the Tigers won the game 40-3.

Junior season

Russell was the starting quarterback again at LSU in 2006, beating out Matt Flynn and highly-touted redshirt freshman Ryan Perrilloux. Before the season began, he changed his jersey number from 4 to 2. He had a productive 2006 regular season, leading the Tigers to a 10-2 record and a BCS Sugar Bowl berth. He threw for 3,129 yards, 28 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He was second in the SEC with 2,923 yards from scrimmage. Russell won the SEC Offensive Player of the Week award three times during the regular season.

A memorable performance of the 2006 season came against Tennessee. In spite of throwing three interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), he led LSU on a come-from-behind, 15-play, 80-yard drive in the final minutes of the game. The drive ended with a four-yard touchdown pass to Early Doucet with less than 10 seconds left in the game, and the Tigers defeated Tennessee 28-24. Earlier in the drive, Russell and Doucet also connected for a first down on a 4th and 8 situation. In the final game of his junior year, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Russell accumulated over 350 yards of passing and rushing and scored 3 TDs, leading to the Tigers 41–14 win over Notre Dame. He was also named the Sugar Bowl's MVP.

At the end of the 2006 season, Russell was named to the all-SEC first team, ahead of Kentucky's Andre Woodson and Florida's Chris Leak. In addition, he was named an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated.

Awards and honors

NFL career

2007 NFL Draft

On January 10, 2007, Russell stated that he had decided to skip his final season of NCAA eligibility with LSU and enter the 2007 NFL Draft,[4] where he was picked by the Oakland Raiders as the 1st overall draft pick.

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20 ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6-5½ * 265* 4.83 ** 1.67 ** 2.78 ** x x x x x 24 *

(** represents LSU Pro Day)

Russell was one of four LSU players taken in the first round, along with safety LaRon Landry, and wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis.[5]

Rookie season

Failing to reach a contract agreement with the Raiders, Russell held out through training camp and the first weeks of the 2007 NFL season, until September 12, 2007, when he signed a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, with $31.5 million guaranteed.[6]

Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin did not immediately name Russell a starter, saying, "That way we can really control what he is doing, play for this set amount of time for this many plays. He doesn't have to have everything mastered," noting that Russell had missed all of training camp and other quarterbacks, like David Carr, should have been brought along more slowly.[7]

Russell made his first professional appearance on December 2, 2007 against the Denver Broncos. Coming into the game in the second quarter in relief of starter Josh McCown, Russell played two series, and completed 4 of 7 pass attempts for 56 yards.[8]

On December 23, 2007 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Russell threw his first career touchdown pass, a 2-yard pass to Zach Miller. He finished the game with seven completions on 23 pass attempts for 83 yards, with one touchdown pass, three interceptions and a lost fumble.[9]

Russell made his first career start in the final game of the season against the San Diego Chargers. Russell was intercepted twice by linebacker Stephen Cooper, the first of which was his very first pass as a starter for the Raiders. He also lost a fumble, leading to 17 points for the Chargers. Russell didn't get up right away after throwing his second interception and was later taken to the locker room on a cart. Andrew Walter replaced Russell at the start of the third quarter. Russell did however, manage to complete 23 of 31 passes for 224 yards with a touchdown on a 32-yard pass to Jerry Porter. [10]

Russell finished his rookie season with 36 completed passes on 66 attempts, 373 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. After the San Diego game, Kiffin named Russell the team's starting quarterback for the 2008 season. [11]

2008 season

Russell (left) looks to pass during a game on November 2 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Russell was named the starter for the opening game of the 2008 season, which was against division rival, Denver Broncos. It was only his second career start. The game ended in a disappointing 41-14 loss. Despite his team's blowout loss, Russell completed over 65 percent of his passes, throwing for 180 yards, two touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. [12]

In week two, the Raiders were able to pull off a win, however, by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 23-8 despite Russell's performance. He passed for only 55 yards by completing 6-of-17 passes, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. The win could be credited to Sebastian Janikowski, who put up 11 points in the game.

The next three weeks saw the Raiders lose against Buffalo, San Diego, and New Orleans. Russell only threw a combined total of two touchdowns in those games.

In week 7, the Raiders beat the New York Jets 16 - 13 in overtime. The win ended their four-game home losing streak. Russell completed 17-of-30 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown.[13] It was head coach, Tom Cable's first win as Raiders head coach. Russell lead the team on a 43 yard drive to set up Janikowski's game winning kick.[14]

The celebration would be cut short, however, as the Raiders lost the next four games to Baltimore, Atlanta, Carolina, and Miami. A week after the Miami game, he led the Raiders to a 31-10 victory in a rematch with Denver. Russell completed 10-of-11 passes for 152 yards, one-touchdown, and no turnovers.

Russell finished the 2008 season on a high note, as the Raiders won back to back games against Houston and Tampa Bay. In the final three games of the regular season, he passed for six touchdowns and two interceptions.

2009 Season

In August, Russell was named starter of the Raiders. [15] Following a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on November 15th, Russell was benched indefinitely by coach Tom Cable due to mediocre play in favor of Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski went on to upset the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers in the following two weeks with excellent performances, including 5 touchdown passes and two fourth quarter comebacks. Due to an injury to Gradkowski against the Washington Redskins, Russell was again thrust into action in a game the Raiders ended up losing. For the next game, Cable decided to go with journeyman Charlie Frye rather than Russell as his starter, effectively making Russell the Raiders' #3 quarterback. However, Frye went down as well against the Denver Broncos and this time Russell was able to finish the game with a win. He finished the 2009 season with the lowest quarterback rating, lowest completion percentage, fewest passing touchdowns, and fewest passing yards among qualifying quarterbacks in the NFL.[16]


JaMarcus Russell was born to Bobby Lloyd and Zina L. Russell-Anderson, a law firm secretary and a machine operator in a furniture factory.

Russell is a cousin of Robert Jordan, formerly of the California Golden Bears and San Francisco 49ers, and Marshawn Lynch of the Buffalo Bills.

His uncle Ray Ray Russell was a long-time DJ and radio host for the Mobile, Alabama-based station WBLX before his passing in 2009. [17]

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Russell housed around a dozen evacuees who had fled the flooding in New Orleans, including New Orleans singer Fats Domino, in his off-campus apartment.[18]


  1. ^ Sack, Kevin (2001-02-27). "Cash Crunch Imperils High School Footballm". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/27/us/cash-crunch-imperils-high-school-football.html. Retrieved 2009-10-26.  
  2. ^ 2002 Postseason High School Football All-American Teams. Retrived October 26, 2009.
  3. ^ "Individual Football Records", AHSAA, http://www.ahsaa.com/Sports/Football/Records/IndividualRecordsOld/tabid/396/Default.aspx  
  4. ^ Guilbeau, Glenn (January 11, 2007). "LSU's JaMarcus Russell is going pro". The Shreveport Times. http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070111/SPORTS0202/701110319/1028.  
  5. ^ "Russell First of Four Tigers in NFL Draft First Round". LSUsports.net. 2007-04-28. http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=5200&ATCLID=824904.  
  6. ^ "Deal exceeds Russell's financial goals, but holdout hinders playing time". ESPN.com. 2007-09-13. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3016693.  
  7. ^ Spander, Art (2007-11-20). "JaMarcus not about to start". The Oakland Tribune. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20071120/ai_n21113587.  
  8. ^ "Russell debuts, but McCown leads Raiders past Broncos". CBS Sportsline. December 2, 2007. http://sportsline.com/nfl/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20071202_DEN@OAK.  
  9. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (2007-12-24). "Top pick Russell draws Chargers in first career start". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3167941.  
  10. ^ "San Diego 30, Oakland 17". Yahoo! Sports. 2007-12-30. http://stats.washingtonpost.com/fb/playerstats.asp?id=8255&team=&page=news.  
  11. ^ Barber, Phil (2008-01-01). "Russell's first start shows big strides". The Press Democrat. http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/article/20080101/SPORTS/801010359/1015/SPORT0502.  
  12. ^ http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter?game_id=29543&season=2008&displayPage=tab_gamecenter&week=REG1 - NFL Game Center
  13. ^ http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter?game_id=29627&season=2008&displayPage=tab_gamecenter&week=REG7 - NFL Game Center
  14. ^ http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=29627&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2008&week=REG7&override=true
  15. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4419784&name=fantasy_football
  16. ^ QB rating
  17. ^ Simmons, Rusty (August 8, 2007). "It's all relative: Raiders' Russell bunks down with a Bear". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/08/SPGQ1REGA811.DTL. Retrieved 2008-02-03.  
  18. ^ "LSU QB shares home with Fats Domino". MSNBC. 2005-09-04. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9180309/1.  

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Marcus Randall
LSU Starting Quarterbacks
JaMarcus Russell
Succeeded by
Matt Flynn
Preceded by
Josh McCown
Oakland Raiders Starting Quarterback
(with Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper 2007)
Succeeded by
Bruce Gradkowski
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mario Williams
1st Overall Pick in NFL Draft
JaMarcus Russell
Succeeded by
Jake Long


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