Last night, the Tigers got a huge Christmas gift in the form of Dontavius Russell’s announcement on Twitter!
Im grateful for everything the Auburn family has done for me and happy to be apart of it for one more year #WDE pic.twitter.com/Izd2YgW9bB— Dontavius Russell (@russ_dont95) December 26, 2017
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.
Watch both Andrew Williams & Dontavius Russell shed would be blockers. Nowhere for Chubb to go https://t.co/NZAkqHqqst— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 5, 2017
Dontavius Russell is not of this world. He's standing up like an edge rusher, gets chipped by the RB but knocks both the LT (a really good player btw) & Michel away & makes the sack https://t.co/5UtgoMOQ3Z— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 5, 2017
Bama tries it again the other way but this time AU sets the edge properly. Watch Javaris Davis & Dontavius Russell block the outside path & force Bo inside where there are plenty of AU defenders https://t.co/eUVbMJjb53— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) November 28, 2017
The mighty Bo Scarborough runs into a wall created by Andrew Williams & Dontavius Russell. You don't move this AU front very easily https://t.co/qFsg4taBuH— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) November 28, 2017
Dontavius Russell hit Jake Fromm so hard on this sack that he took Marlon Davidson out of the play on the other side of the line. pic.twitter.com/nJAYcU60s3— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) November 12, 2017
It was actually the aftershock of Dontavius Russell forcing Jake Fromm to fumble. https://t.co/FmBQ40gVzV— FreeMyBoyLonelyTailgater Boosky (@sheabooskyy) November 16, 2017
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.