Darrell Russell (American football)

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Darrell Russell
refer to caption
Darrell Russell while with the Oakland Raiders.
No. 96
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1976-05-27)May 27, 1976
Pensacola, Florida
Died: December 15, 2005(2005-12-15) (aged 29)
Los Angeles, California
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 325 lb (147 kg)
Career information
High school: San Diego (CA) St. Augustine
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 184
Sacks: 28.5
Interceptions: 3
Player stats at NFL.com

Darrell Anthony Russell, Jr. (May 27, 1976 – December 15, 2005) was an American football defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He died in a car crash near Los Angeles after being indefinitely banned from the NFL for repeated violations of the league's substance abuse policy.

Early life[edit]

Darrell Anthony Russell, Jr. was born in Pensacola, Florida.[1][2] His mother, Eleanor Russell, divorced in 1986 from Darrell Anthony Russell Sr. when their only child was nine years old, and moved from Florida to Southern California.[2] Russell grew up in a rough part of San Diego just a few blocks from Lincoln Kennedy. Russell graduated from St. Augustine High School.

College career[edit]

Russell attended the University of Southern California and, after a dominant 1996 season that featured 19 tackles for loss[3], was taken second overall in the 1997 NFL Draft by Al Davis and the Raiders. At 6-foot-5-inch (196 cm), 320-pounds Russell ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Russell's seven-year, $22 million contract in 1997 was at the time the richest rookie contract ever signed in the NFL.[4]

He went on to have 28.5 career sacks. After making the Pro Bowl in 1998 and 1999, averaging ten sacks per year, he was poised to have a dominant NFL career. However, the following season he failed a drug test, which his lawyer attributed to "second-hand smoke," and was later suspended for four games in 2001 for a second violation, this time for failing to be tested[5]. Shortly after that, he tested positive for a banned substance and was given a one-year suspension, which effectively wiped out his 2002 season. Russell missed 1½ years while serving two league suspensions before he played in eight games in 2003 for the Washington Redskins. However, the positive drug tests kept coming, and Russell was suspended indefinitely by the league. Russell's positive drug test in 2004 was his seventh infraction of the league's drug policy. His last NFL experience was in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp in 2004.[6]

NFL statistics[edit]

Year Team GP COMB TOTAL AST SACK FF FR FR YDS INT IR YDS AVG IR LNG TD PD
1997 OAK 16 43 34 9 3.5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
1998 OAK 16 63 55 8 10.0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
1999 OAK 16 43 32 11 9.5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
2000 OAK 16 33 24 9 3.0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
2001 OAK 11 41 31 10 2.5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4
2003 WSH 8 6 3 3 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 83 229 179 50 28.5 6 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 23

[7]

Key

  • GP: games played
  • COMB: combined tackles
  • TOTAL: total tackles
  • AST: assisted tackles
  • SACK: sacks
  • FF: forced fumbles
  • FR: fumble recoveries
  • FR YDS: fumble return yards
  • INT: interceptions
  • IR YDS: interception return yards
  • AVG IR: average interception return
  • LNG: longest interception return
  • TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
  • PD: passes defensed

Personal[edit]

He was accused in 2002 of videotaping the rape of a woman—who had been drugged with GHB—by two friends, but prosecutors dropped the charges.[4]

Death[edit]

On December 15, 2005, Russell was a passenger in a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by close friend and former USC teammate Michael Bastianelli[8] when it veered out of control, hitting several items including a tree and a fire hydrant before hitting a parked bus. Both men were found unconscious and taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Darrell Russell". ESPN. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Berkow, Ira (April 20, 1997). "A Life Change for Mother and Son". New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  3. ^ "USC Blog". 
  4. ^ a b c Gay, Nancy (December 16, 2005). "Ex-Raider killed in crash: Troubled DT was trying to change life". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ "USC Blog". 
  6. ^ Stroud, Rick (July 14, 2004). "Bucs release defensive tackle Russell". St. Petersburg Times. 
  7. ^ "Darrell Russell Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mike Bastianelli Life Profile". 

External links[edit]