KeiVarae Russell (born October 19, 1993) is an American football cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played college football at Notre Dame.
|No. 20 – Cincinnati Bengals|
|Born:||October 19, 1993|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||196 lb (89 kg)|
|High school:||Everett (WA) Mariner|
|NFL Draft:||2016 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
High school careerEdit
Russell attended Mariner High School in Everett, Washington, where he was named to the first-team Washington class 4A by the Associated Press as a senior, after gaining 1,293 rushing yards on 177 attempts with 14 touchdowns. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, he was rated as the 9th-best athlete prospect of his class. He committed to play college football for Notre Dame on December 29, 2011, over offers from California, USC and hometown Washington.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Everett, Washington||Everett (WA) Mariner||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||4.55||Dec 29, 2011|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 79|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 207 (national) Rivals: 9 (RB), 3 (WA), 124 (national)|
In summer camp of his freshman year, following a season-ending injury to incumbent starter Lo Wood, Russell was moved from running back to cornerback. He worked himself into a starting role for week 1 of the season vs. Navy, in Dublin, Ireland. Russell started all 13 games as a true freshman, including the 2013 BCS National Championship Game vs. Alabama. He recorded 58 tackles, including two for loss, and two interceptions, and was named a Freshman All-American by the FWAA. As a sophomore, Russell started all 13 games in 2013, registering 51 tackles, one interception and eight pass break-ups.
On August 14, 2014, the University of Notre Dame announced that they were investigating suspected academic dishonesty on the part of several students, including members of the football team; Russell along with DaVaris Daniels, Kendall Moore, and Ishaq Williams were those named in the investigation, with another player, Eilar Hardy, named a few weeks later. On October 10, 2014, following the conclusion of the school's investigation, Russell was suspended for the fall and spring semesters from the school, and did not play for the Irish in the 2014–15 season.
Return to Notre DameEdit
After being suspended for seven months by the university, Russell announced on May 29, 2015, that he was back and had been re-admitted to the university for the upcoming semester. He returned to the field and started 11 games, before missing the remaining two games with a fractured tibia. He finished his season with 60 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and six pass deflections.
Coming out of Notre Dame, Russell was projected by analysts to be a second to fourth round draft selection. He was rated the eleventh best cornerback out of the 261 available by NFLDraftScout.com. Although he was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, he was unable to perform any workouts or drills, besides the bench press, due to a leg injury. He was able to participate at Notre Dame's Pro Day and performed in the entire workout and drills.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 11 in
|31 5⁄8 in
|4.49 s||1.60 s||2.63 s||4.00 s||6.84 s||38 1⁄2 in
|11 ft 2 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
Kansas City ChiefsEdit
On June 13, 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs signed Russell to a four-year, $3.15 million contract with a signing bonus of $813,128. He was the last of the Chiefs' 2016 draft class to be signed to a contract.
On September 14, 2016, Russell was waived by the Chiefs. He was the earliest draft pick waived that was selected in the first four rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft. Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid explained the waiving of Russell, stating that he was unable to get comfortable with the defensive scheme, didn't stand out during training camp and preseason, and was unable to climb the Chiefs' depth chart.
On September 15, 2016, Russell was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 17 against the Ravens, on his first career snap on defense, Russell intercepted Ryan Mallett on a deep pass intended for Breshad Perriman.
- "Associated Press all-state football team". The Seattle Times. December 19, 2011.
- "Russell selected to play in U.S. Army All-American Bowl". The Daily Herald.
- "KeiVarae Russell". yahoo.com.
- Bud Elliott. "KeiVarae Russell Commits To Notre Dame Over Washington". SBNation.com. Vox Media.
- "Notre Dame football: Russell ready for move to cornerback". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel.
- "2012 FWAA Freshman All-America Team". nationalchamps.net.
- "Notre Dame investigates academic fraud, holds out four players". USA TODAY. August 15, 2014.
- "KeiVarae Russell of Notre Dame Fighting Irish won't play against this season". ESPN.com.
- "KeiVarae Russell says his suspension from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish has been lifted". ESPN.com.
- Notre Dame dealing with further injury trouble after BC win
- Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell declares for 2016 NFL draft
- "NFL Draft Profile: KeiVarae Russell". NFL.com. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "KeiVarae Russell, DS #11 CB, Notre Same: 2016 NFL Draft". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Teicher, Adam (April 30, 2016). "Chiefs get their cornerback in third round in Notre Dame's KeiVarae Russell". ESPN.com.
- Christian Hardy (July 28, 2016). "Chief's third round pick KeiVarae Russell is a sponge early in training camp". Kansas city.com. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "KeiVarae Russell waived: Latest comments and reaction". bleacher report.com. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Alper, Josh. "Chiefs waive 2016 third-round pick KeiVarae Russell". NBCSports.com.
- Jackson, Zac (September 15, 2016). "Bengals claim KeiVarae Russell". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Toback, Rebecca (January 2, 2017). "Bengals rookie KeiVarae Russell grabs interception on first NFL snap on defense". CincyJungle.com. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- "Bengals Establish Roster of 53 Players". Bengals.com. September 1, 2018.
- "Andrew Brown, Russell Signed to Practice Squad". Bengals.com. September 2, 2018.
- "Bengals sign CB KeiVarae Russell off practice squad, waive WR Auden Tate". CincyJungle.com. October 18, 2018.