Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher coached a different JaMarcus Russell when they were together at LSU.
“I never knew that guy,” Fisher said on ESPN 760, talking about the lazy player Russell has become. “His work ethic for us — everything I ever asked him to do, he did. He was smart, he carried three and four play packages at the line of scrimmage.”
Fisher, like others, pointed to the passing of Russell’s mentor and Uncle Ray as a possible obstacle Russell struggled to get over.
“He is very talented and he is very intelligent,” Fisher said. “Intelligence isn’t an issue with him.”
Based on the pre-draft reports we remember, Russell’s football smarts were never a question.
Russell’s failure goes beyond football. There is simply no way to know how a 21-year old will react to $40 million, no matter how many tests we give them.
And we don’t really know how a 24-year-old will react to losing his job, and becoming a punchline.