Russell was one of five Irish players suspended last season due to academic dishonesty. Of the five, only Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams are still with the program. Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and linebacker Kendall Moore have exhausted their eligibility, while safety Eilar Hardy transferred to Bowling Green. Hardy was the only suspended player to return to the field last season.
Russell, a senior, started all 26 games for Notre Dame in his freshman and sophomore seasons. He was a Freshman All-America selection in 2012, and recorded 51 total tackles and eight pass break-ups in 2013.
Notre Dame returns 10 starters from last year’s defense, not including Russell.
- Dan Gartland