KeiVarae Russell
This is the first of a 17 part series on the 2012 recruit class, the second under head coach Brian Kelly. We will look at each recruit, their strengths, weaknesses, and how soon we should see an impact on the field.

This week we will focus on RB/DB KeiVarae Russell.

Running Back
Height: 6-foot.
Weight: 170 pounds.
High School: Mariner, Everett, Wash.
40-Yard Dash: 4.45 seconds
Bench Press (Max): 265 pounds.
Senior Stats: 1,293 yards rushing and 15 TDs. (Missed three games.)
Other Finalists: Cal, USC and Washington.
One Word To Describe Coach Kelly: Realist.
The Moment I Knew I Wanted To Be Irish: Probably a month before I committed, once I found out they had the 98 percent graduation rate and all the opportunities and benefits from graduating from Notre Dame.
The Lasting Impression Notre Dame's 2011 Season Had On Me: It showed me that we had a lot of improvement and it showed that I could fit into the offense.

Listed 122nd player nationally on 247Sports chart of top prospects . . . ranked the fifth-best all-purpose back in the nation and third-best player from Washington by 247Sports . . . rated 124th on Rivals250 list . . . listed as ninth-best athlete in the nation and third-best player in Washington by . . . rated number-138 player nationally and 12th-best tailback in his class by MaxPreps and Tom Lemming . . . rated 12th nationally among running backs and fourth-best player in Washington by SuperPrep . . . listed 207th nationally on Scout 300 rankings . . . named to Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 list as one of the 100 best players in 13 western U.S. states . . . first-team 2011 Washington Class 4A all-state running back by Associated Press . . . gained 1,293 rushing yards on 177 attempts with 14 touchdowns as senior in 2011 despite missing three games due to injury . . . also caught five passes n 2011 for 69 yards and one TD and completed all three of his passes for 58 yards and another TD . . . first-team all- area running back by Everett Herald - and finished second in voting for all-area offensive player of the year . . . standout running back at Mariner High School in Everett, Wash. . . . rushed 30 times for 284 yards and four TDs in 28-24 win over Mount Vernon in second game of 2011 season . . . accounted for 1,850 rushing yards on 288 carries with 20 TDs as junior in 2010 . . . rushed 159 times for 1,232 yards and 14 TDs as sophomore in 2009, to go with five catches for 120 yards and two TDs . . . also played defensive back as a sophomore, making 25 tackles and three interceptions . . . carried 36 times as freshman for 182 yards and two TDs in 2008 . . . selected for U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio . . . coached by John Ondriezek at Mariner High School . . . born Oct. 19, 1993.
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Fighting Irish Positional Analysis: Specialists

ESPN Recruiting Expert Tom Lemming
"Special K shows the ability to become a big-time ball player at RB, FS, or CB. His football IQ is very high, catches the ball well coming out of the backfield, and has proven to be a well rounded RB. He possesses a brilliant burst and excellent speed. For proof just watch the first game on his highlight tape in which he had 22 carries for 281 yds and 5 TDs. When he's on, he's on. Once he finds the crease, he's a threat to go the distance. A good cutback runner who seems to see the hole before it develops."

Brian Kelly on KeiVarae Russell
"I think the first thing that hit me when recruiting KeiVarae is his personality, always positive, always talking about the future and what he hopes to accomplish. I love being around young men that have a plan, have an understanding of what their future looks like and how Notre Dame can best help him get there. Always has a smile on his face, always upbeat and, again, he's an outstanding player or we wouldn't be recruiting him. The playing ability fits that profile that we're looking for at the running back position, he lined up in the All Star game as a wide receiver, he can play wide receiver, he can play the running back position and also can be a specialist for us, so he is a guy that has the ability to do a lot of jobs for us, if you will"