JaMarcus Russell is Attempting an NFL Comeback

The Oakland Raiders had the option of selecting highly touted wide receiver Calvin Johnson or quarterback JaMarcus Russell as their No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL draft, and selected Russell, who ended up being categorized as a  “bust.” But now Russell is attempting a comeback, according to Yahoo! Sports.Russell’s last snap came in 2009 with the Raiders, but he has been away from the NFL for the last two seasons. He received tryouts from the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins in 2010, but now finds himself trying to resurrect what once was deemed as a promising career.“My first year out, I couldn’t watch football, but after a while, I couldn’t keep the TV off,” Russell said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. “I got that itchy feeling but now I gotta watch it, gotta watch.”The 27-year-old Russell was heavily criticized throughout his collegiate and professional career for his weight. When he entered the league he was 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds. He has picked up even more weight since his absence. Now Russell has dropped from 320 to 308 pounds by focusing on his cardio conditioning in the last six weeks.“The last few years, the things going through my life, football is my job and it is how it feeds my family,” he said. “People would say (that) I didn’t love the game but that pisses 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.”The next couple of months will be one of Russell’s biggest tests of commitment to reclaiming his future in the league. He will work with a plethora of former NFL players and personnel to get into better physical shape and retool his memory. Jeff Garcia, Marshall Faulk and Olympian Ato Boldon are some of the people he will be working with.Russell will still need to prove that he has changed from the man who was arrested in July 2010 for possession of 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 said.One step that Russell has taken is speaking to youth groups about his arrest and poor decision making.But he is determined that the decision to make a comeback will be the right choice in the long run.“It’s going to feel good to go back out there again,” Russell said. “I will make this happen.”

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