If you watched the Mississippi State game last night, you might have asked yourself, “why havent we seen more of Donald Russell?” The RB who had over 100 yards against South Carolina barely saw the field last night and when Raymond Sanders went down late, Coshick Williams, a kid who hasnt played all year, was sent in for the key final drives. There had been rumors last week that Russell might have quit the team and his status after the Georgia game was unclear. So today on the UK site 247sports.com, a poster who stated she was Donald Russell’s mother posted this to explain:
Hey all..this is Donald’s mother..I wanted you to know that I read the blogs the good and the bad. We always use them as a learning tool to improve so believe me when I say all of your comments are appreciated. I couldn’t sit back and just let everyone assume what is going on. The coaches are only going to tell the fans so much but I feel I will tell you. Donald and Johnthan George was recruited because Coach Brooks wanted tailbacks that could hit the hole in the middle and break tackles. Now Joker and Coach Sanders (also quoted by Joker in different press conferences) they feel the smaller runnerbacks fits what the offense needs and the direction the offense is going in.
Donald has been dealing with the pressure of knowing the Coaches do not feel they need his type of running style. He was told by a coach after the GA game that “his margin of error is smaller than the other players because the Offensive Coordinator wants to play #4 Sanders so he cannot make any mistakes so work harder.” Donald has been commended by teammates and other Coaches (EVEN Joker in a press conference) on how well Donald has shown good character by still working hard in practice, doing everything they have asked him to do and by not showing any ATTITUDE. I watched the Giants/Dallas game last monday and a running back fumbled the ball and the coach put him right back in. The commentator stated he commends that coach for putting that player right back in the game and that the coach was a true players coach. Also, in the Fl. State game on Thursday the quarterback fumbled the ball the last few seconds of the game costing them the game. His team rallied around him and the head coach talked with him and touched him to consule him. He knew what the young man must have felt to know that he just lost that game after a start of a great season.
When Donald fumbled his ball (WHICH WAS A HORRIBLE FUMBLE FOR THE TEAM) I was in the stands and I just screamed repeatedly No No No (along with the some others words I will not type) because I knew what that meant and what he was going to feel like. NOT ONE COACH went to him to say “What were you thinking or that he was to good of player to make such a mistake or to even encourage him as the Fl State coach did”…my family and I knew what was going to happen.. he was punished because he has no room for a margin of error because of his running style. Now don’t get us wrong..not every coach can go over and give every kid a hug..that is not what we are asking but Donald and (us his family) can see what their intentions are for him. I told Donald everything that he did wrong and every play that he missed because Donald has to work on being a great tailback not just a good tailback if you want to be in the SEC. I’m sorry if any reader believes there is more to the story but there isn’t.
This is Donald’s lesson on having mental toughness. You have to build a bond and a relationship with players in order for them to believe and trust in what you are doing. If you don’t.. then you won’t be able to motivate them to do more than they have already have for you. They lost our trust with their words so we have been going by their actions and their actions are speaking loud and clear. This may not be the appropriate to put my thoughts online especially when we are easy going quiet people but this is our story. Yes this is Jokers team and he should and has the right to do what he feels is best for the team and he has our respect for that. Joker is under a lot of pressure and my family and I are so proud of him and wish him the best as a coach…
If the stories of Russell considering quiting the team are true, then this explanation combined with it would help us understand why we didnt see the runner who looked to be Locke’s primary backup, much at all these last two games. I must say this…Donald Russell is a stud RB that had interest and scholarship offers from schools in the SEC, Big East and ACC and was one of UK’s very good gets. If the Cats arent interested in his services or if for whatever reason Russell isnt doing what the coaches are asking, this is not good news. But either way, the drama is now out there and the questions will be prevalent this week.