When first looking at Eli Russ, one can’t help but notice his impressive height.
When first looking at Eli Russ, one can’t help but notice his impressive height. Standing at 6’4“ and weighing in at 320 pounds, Russ is quite the intimidating sight on the football field. The Oklahoma State University Cowboys and head coach Mike Gundy are counting on that intimidation in the next few years up in Stillwater. Wednesday afternoon, Russ officially signed his National Letter of Intent to play college football for coach Gundy and the Cowboys, as a member of the Oklahoma State University family. Russ’ signing was the culmination of a journey which began in April of 2018, when Russ verbally committed to the Cowboys. The day was made even more special as he got to share the stage with his teammate Blake Nowell, who will now become an opponent in the Big 12 at TCU. “This is just a relaxing feeling for me more than anything,” Russ said. “I can finally focus on making my way up there and getting ready to work and prove myself. When I made my verbal commitment, I didn’t feel a lot of pressure per say, but I knew I had to show people there was a reason why they wanted me.” “When I went there (Oklahoma State) for a visit, then they just spoke about what they like to do as far as offense and defense, and it just was a natural fit for me,” Russ added. “I knew right away it was where I wanted to go. Getting to know Coach Gundy has been a great experience, and he’s a great guy. It’ll be weird having him as my next coach after seeing him on TV so much, but I’m looking forward to the experience.” Known for his breakout speed on the line, Russ has been making life difficult for opponents the last four years as a member of the Indians football team. He was also a member of the 2018-19 All-Ardmoreite Football team, and was a member of the All-USA Oklahoma Team that season. Russ is also a state qualifier in track in the shot put event. “When you look at Eli’s ability level, he has incredible athleticism for a guy his size,” Plainview Coach Joe Price said. “He’s able to stay on blocks and finish them while staying hooked up. There’s a lot of guys who don’t want to engage him because of his size and how fast he is. He moves so much better than all the guys who are smaller than he is. On top of everything else he works hard in the classroom and on the field, and is just a good kid overall.” Russ was a big part of the Plainview Indians success this season, as they finished 11-2 overall, earning the Class 3A state runner up for the second time in Russ’ career as a member of the Indians football team. “Everyone hears Plainview, and they instantly know it’s a good school,” Russ said. “There’s a lot of Plainview guys up at OSU already, so it’s a well known name as it is. Having the support of my community and my school behind me is going to carry me going forward.” Russ said he plans on studying agribusiness when he attends college.