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Alumni 5: Twan Russell

Posted Feb 8, 2018

1. Who is the toughest player you faced?

It has to be Barry Sanders. One game when I was with the Redskins we thought we had him stopped in the first half when held him to something like minus-15 yards. But he came out and rushed for more than 100 yards in the second half.

2. Who set the bar at your position?

For me, Zach (Thomas) was always the guy. Even before I came to the Dolphins I knew he played the game the way I wanted to play it. He had a lot of talent, but also was exceptionally smart. For him it was cerebral as well as athletic. Some guys had great athleticism, some guys were very smart. But it’s hard to find guys who had both, and Zach certainly was one of the few who did.

3. What player did you admire growing up?

Mike Singletary was my all-time favorite linebacker. He was a great man of character and a great football player. And growing up in South Florida, I also admired John Offerdahl. I wore number 56 with the Dolphins because growing up I wanted to be like him. Kirk Olivadotti (The son of former Dolphins defensive coordinator Tom Olivadotti) invited me to my first Dolphins game when I was in high school. John had a great game and I never forgot that.

4. What was the most memorable moment of your career?

There wasn’t a lot of fanfare around it, but it had to be my first year playing for the Dolphins (2000). It was a childhood dream of mine to play for the Dolphins, to wear the aqua and orange. I remember sitting in my house one day and thinking, “OK, this is pretty cool, to play high school here, college here, and in the NFL here.” There were a few things that I was hoping to accomplish as a football player. For me, that was one of those check-the-box moments.

5. What did you do in the offseason to stay occupied?

I worked on my foundation, and attended seminars and classes looking to better myself. I wasn’t a starter, so I never knew how long I was going to play football. So, I spent my off-seasons trying to become better from a professional standpoint. For me it was about personal development and making sure I had an opportunity after my playing career ended. Other than that, I raced remote control cars at Mills Pond or any open lot I could find.

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