JaMarcus Russell is slim, trim and looking for an NFL job

June 24, 2013
JaMarcus Russell was a No. 1 pick and has the photo with Roger Goodell to prove it. (AP file)
JaMarcus Russell was a No. 1 pick and has the photo with Roger Goodell to prove it. (AP file)

If there’s any question over just how committed JaMarcus Russell, one of the biggest draft busts of all time, is about returning to the the NFL, there’s now photographic proof.

Russell, the No. 1 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 draft, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2009 and ballooned to well over 300 pounds last fall. But he’s been working out and being mentored by, among others, Marshall Faulk, Jeff Garcia and Michael Clayton.

“My first year out, I couldn’t watch football, but after a while I couldn’t keep the TV off,” Russell told Yahoo Sports in January. “I got that itchy feeling, but now I gotta watch it, gotta watch. The last few years, the things going through my life, football is my job, and it is how I feed my family. People would say I didn’t love the game, but that [ticks] me off. People don’t know the real you, but I want people to know the real me and see what I can do.

“People are always saying that I’m a bust. I want show them I’m not. I’m committed to this now.”

He’s got the right height (6-6), is on the right side of 30 (27) and now has the right body, as a tweeted photo from TEST Football Academy shows.

Still, there’s a lengthy list of negatives: he was lazy, played poorly and became an NFL laughingstock after his arrest in 2010 for having a codeine syrup without a prescription.

“I’m not looking for a pat on the shoulder from people who haven’t been there for me,” Russell told Yahoo. “It feels funny not to go through a training camp; that’s just what I’m used to. It’s going to feel good to go back out there again. I will make this happen.”

H/T USA Today

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | June 23, 2013