Russell Hansbrough is a 5'8, 192 pound running back from the University of Missouri. Although he was not invited to participate in the NFL Combine, he has shown flashes of explosiveness with the ball in his hands. His Pro Day 40 time was clocked at 4.38. He also delivered a 9'06.5" broad jump, 30 1/2 vertical jump, 4.56 20 yard shuffle, 7.36 3-cone drill, and 17 bench press reps. Although he did not receive an invite to the NFL Combine, he is an extremely elusive runner who makes guys miss on the field; I've seen him make 4 or 5 guys miss on a single play (here's some film ). He has the athletic ability to contribute both at running back and as a return man in the NFL. He has the speed and the hands to contribute immediately as a third down back in the NFL. We were lucky enough to spend some time interviewing Russell, and here are the results. Questions in black, Russell's replies in maroon.
Mr. Hansbrough, you stand out as an extremely talented athlete on the film when watching film. What, in your opinion, makes you stand out most as a running back prospect?
My vision and explosion or burst.
You're a pretty explosive guy out of the backfield. What other positions have you played?
I have really only played running back.
What are some of your favorite offensive formations to work out of? What are your favorite defensive schemes to play against?
I have only played in the spread but it really doesn’t matter to me what formation. Defensive schemes I would say 3-4.
Tell us a bit about your past. How has your childhood and upbringing impacted the player and person you are today?
My dad would always talk about Walter Payton, Marcus Allen, and Barry Sanders. When he showed me their highlights when I was little I tried to take a little from Marcus Allen and Barry Sanders, and tried to practice and play just like them.
Who is your favorite player in the NFL? Are there any specific players that you try to emulate on the field?
I don’t really have a favorite player, but I do enjoy watching Tavon Austin.
Who is your role model?
My role models are my parents.
Safety has been a major concern in the NFL in recent years. What are your thoughts on the NFL's increased focus on player safety in recent years?
I like it because football doesn’t last forever and they want to make sure you are still healthy after you retire.
You suffered a sprained ankle early in the 2015 season, but appear to be back at full strength and just as explosive as you were before the injury. Everything feel good?
Everything is healthy and I’m ready to go.
I read that you were able to visit a children's hospital while in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl. How was that experience?
It was amazing it makes you value life more and also motivates you to want to help people more. Those were some of the strongest kids I have ever met in my life.
If you could choose to accomplish one thing in your career, what would it be?
I just want to be the best player I can be, I know the accomplishments will come with it. I don’t really have any accomplishments right now other than making a team.
You unfortunately were not invited to the NFL Combine, but clearly have the talent to earn a spot on an NFL roster. What points would you like to make to any scouts or coaches who may read this interview? What makes you stand out as a great prospect and player?
I would say stop watches don’t define what type of player I am. You can go back and watch my film and see what type of player I am. I am very competitive and want to play with the best, thats the reason why I went to the SEC. My senior year did not turn out the way I wanted it to, so I have a huge monkey on my back and I want to show everybody I can play in the NFL.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Russell. We look forward to watching your career unfold in the NFL, and best of luck in the draft. --Mike Bertasso and Matt Koontz, Matt and Mike Sports.
We would like to thank Glen Wallace from Peterson Sports for facilitating this interview. Glen has asked us to add the following statement, that Glen Wallace, James Peterson, Dave Thompson, and the entire Peterson Sports family are very proud of Russell.
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