Arguably the biggest bust in NFL draft history, JaMarcus Russell has surfaced for a rare interview with Sports Illustrated.
It’s a fascinating read in which L. Jon Wertheim went to Russell’s hometown of Mobile, AL, to get his side of the story on how the No. 1 overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft could be out of the league completely just three years later.
It shows just how sensitive Russell is to all the criticism he has faced over the years and dispels a lot of rumors about Russell, such as getting fired by life coach John Lucas in April and the speculation that he’s now broke.
That being said, Russell does seem to have an excuse for almost everything that went wrong in his career and Wertheim will probably be labeled as a Russell apologist. But if nothing else, it’s nice to finally hear Russell explain what he thinks went wrong in a career that flamed out in spectacular fashion and only got more bizarre when Russell was busted with “Purple Drank” in July of 2010.
So what is Russell doing now? Hanging out in Mobile with plans to re-enroll at LSU in the spring and work out at the school in hopes of getting an NFL training camp invite next summer.
He’s still just 26 but the odds Russell will ever play another down of competitive football seem extremely small. But if this is the first step in turning his life around, that will be a huge victory in itself.