2011 Texas commit Quincy Russell, a defensive tackle from SA Sam Houston and Under Armour All-American, learned Tuesday that he failed to qualify academically to enroll in Texas this fall. Instead, both Hookem.com and Orangebloods confirmed that the 6-3, 290-pounder will seek to enroll in a junior college in the hopes of eventually being able to enroll at Texas, as recruiter Duane Akina reached out to Russell and Sam Houston head coach Gary Green to let them know that the Longhorns would still like Russell to play football at Texas in two years.
Never considered a grade risk during his recruitment or after his commitment, Russell's inability to qualify is somewhat of a surprise. When he did not enroll in summer school with the rest of the 2011 class, the belief was that the late graduation time of Sam Houston held up Russell from being cleared by the NCAA, much as Quandre Diggs had to wait several days before enrolling for the spring semester. However, the situation was obviously more dire than originally believed.
A raw prospect, Russell was never considered a candidate to contribute early at a position at which it is notoriously difficult to do so. However, the loss does have long-term significance because of the lack of proven depth at defensive tackle and it's hard to find prospects with Russell's combination of size and athleticism that give him such high upside.
The loss of Russell could force the Longhorns to seriously consider taking a fourth defensive tackle in the 2012 class and explains the recent interested in Lago Vista defensive tackle Donald Hopkins, a move in for the spring semester who took an unofficial visit to Austin several weeks ago. Hopkins has 17 offers, including Alabama, and has recently been receiving interest from Texas A&M. Since Russell's high school teammate Javonte Magee has never been high on Texas, Hopkins looks like the most likely candidate to receive an offer at the position if the Longhorns opt to pursue another player there.
The Longhorns are now at 85 scholarships for the fall semester.