GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With his mother in tow, 4-star defensive back Randy Russell visited Florida this weekend for the first time since the hiring of new coach Dan Mullen.
Russell, one of seven official visitors for UF, committed to the Gators on July 22 and didn’t waver during the coaching changes. His latest trip confirmed his reasons for choosing Florida.
“This visit was good, man. Really good,” Russell told SEC Country. “It made me realize why I was really and why I made this my home.”
The top-200 overall prospect from Miami Carol City High School drove up to Gainesville several times in the summer and fall, including trips with his mother. Their official visit this weekend exceeded expectations.
“I loved it. They gave us royal treatment,” said Russell’s mother, Keisha Carnegie. “The other visits were good, but this one was just over the top. I truly enjoyed it. I felt like I was a millionaire.
“They feed us about six times a day. I felt like I put about 10 pounds on, but they welcomed us with open us. They treated us like the 4-star athlete that he is. So I was grateful for the visit.”
Russell was grateful for her reaction.
“I just want her to happy,” he said. “There was some confusion with the staff changes, but the new coaches really showed her why they wanted me here. And as long as she’s comfortable, I’m comfortable.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound defensive back said he spoke at length with new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who plans to use Russell as a rover in the secondary. He also spent time with Mullen, who conducted an in-home visit with him in late November.
“This visit was about me getting to know them more as a people,” Russell said. “I know what they’ve done on the field as coaches, so I just needed to interact with them and start building a relationship.
“I realized Coach Mullen is really energetic and that’s not something he puts up as a front. That’s really how he is and I love his energy. Coach Grantham is pretty much the opposite. He’s laid-back like me.”
Russell will take an official visit to Louisville next weekend, but the mid-year enrollee said he’s solid with Florida and plans to sign early on Dec. 22.
“I got chills from putting on that uniform,” Russell said. “I immediately started thinking about my future and how I can build on that now. I can’t wait to be a Gator.”
Man i swear i’m living all my peoples dreams foreal….. pic.twitter.com/CCyhPxWDKN
— 21 (@randy_knows) December 10, 2017
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