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Dontavius Russell Returning for 2018

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Tigers get a huge boost on the defensive line heading into the offseason.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Auburn Montgomery Advertiser-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Tigers got a huge Christmas gift in the form of Dontavius Russell’s announcement on Twitter!

Russell was one of the more quiet players on Auburn’s defensive front, despite the fact that he ended the season with 41 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 3 sacks, and a forced fumble. He was overshadowed at times in terms of the flashy production by Jeff Holland, Marlon Davidson, and Derrick Brown, who all also had monster years up front for Rodney Garner.

All season long, Russell was a mainstay in the middle of the defensive line, and hardly ever made mistakes while he held his ground against every team Auburn played.

Russell’s return will hopefully spark a wave of Auburn players choosing to stay on the Plains for one more year. Other guys that are on the NFL radar include Jeff Holland and Carlton Davis, and it seems like it’ll be much more unlikely that those two stick around. However, if the whole “unfinished business” mantra takes effect in the minds of Auburn’s entire team, we may get a Boxing Day/New Year’s/Valentine’s gift that really boosts the outlook heading into next season.

Maybe we should hope that the Auburn defense doesn’t have a fantastic Peach Bowl against UCF, so that there’s not that final push in the eyes of the NFL scouts. Nah, let’s crush the Knights.

War Eagle!