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Russell to sit out Mariner's opener

Mariner’s KeiVarae Russell is widely considered to be the state’s top RB and the senior is eager to get on the field to live up to that title this fall.

Unfortunately, his season debut will be delayed after he suffered a mild concussion yesterday while riding a moped.

“I was going fast around the corner and then I flew off,” Russell told ESPNHS. “The doctors said I’m going to miss the game on Friday. (When I’m cleared) I’m going to come back even better.”

Mariner plays at Arlington Friday.

The injury has done little to derail Russell’s confidence heading into his final season. He made strides at safety during the summer after competing in Nike’s “The Opening” in Oregon, where he received valuable advice from NFL Pro Bowler Champ Bailey and first-round pick Patrick Peterson. “They helped me on my man coverage and technique,” says Russell. “Instead of looking at a receivers’ hips (when he begins his route), I start at their knees then go to their hips.”

Russell has set goals of 40 tackles and 40 total touchdowns for the 2011 season (trust me, that wasn’t the concussion talking) and has narrowed his college choices down to USC, UW, Boise State, Notre Dame and Cal.

“I think I’ll commit in November or whenever it feels right,” he says. “I’m going to use the hats to do it. People think [commitments are] all fun and games, but I’m going to be the first one in my family to go to college. I have something special planned for my commitment.”

Read more about Russell and his Mariner teammates in the October issue of ESPNHS Washington Edition.