Mariner running back KeiVarae Russell announced Thursday he will play for Notre Dame during a ceremony at Mariner High School.
The four-star running back who rushed for 1,293 yards his senior season — he missed three games due to injury — picked the Irish over Washington.
When he made the announcement, he had hats from Washington, Notre Dame, USC and Cal — his final four — on a table. Before he picked up a hat, the lights went out and the Notre Dame fight song started playing. The lights came back on and Russell was wearing the white Notre Dame hat.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound standout, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 7 at noon in San Antonio, had scholarship offers from every Pac-12 school and other prestigious universities, including Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma.
“Notre Dame, as far as athletically and academically, you can’t beat it,” Russell said. “Once you get a degree from Notre Dame, you’re basically set for life.”
As a junior, Russell rushed for 1,850 yards.
Before the start of the 2011 season, CBS recruiting analyst Tom Lemming called the top skill-position player in the Northwest.
“He’s a dynamic two-way ballplayer and has just terrific skills when you watch him on film,” Lemming said. “He seems a natural as a cornerback, but he also seems a natural as a running back. He’s not a super big guy, but he’s got really good vision and moves.”
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