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Russell Okung

About Russell

Russell was born on Oct. 7, 1988 to Nigerian immigrants Victor Okung and Dorothy Akpabio. A born protector, Russell earned the nickname “Big Daddy” — when his father passed in 1992, Russell took on the role of man of the house, determined to work hard for his family, and for his future.

Raised in Houston, Texas, Russell always had a passion for sports — soccer, baseball, basketball — and loved football, even though his lanky frame wasn’t built for the game. But that all changed when he grew from a 6-foot-1, 200-pound freshman to a 6-foot-6 junior who’d packed on 50 extra pounds and his career in the sport started to shape up.

By the end of his senior year at George Bush High School, the offensive tackle had been named first-team All-Greater Houston, first-team all-district and the 33rd best offensive tackle prospect of the class of 2006. By graduation, Russell had offers from Big 12 giants Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and powerhouses Nebraska and Louisiana State.

2006–2007

Russell went with the Cowboys of Oklahoma State and after gaining an additional 50 pounds, quickly became one of the best left tackles in the game. His first big break came against Kansas, when he moved into the starting lineup — a position he held for the rest of the season for eight-straight starts, which landed him a spot on Sporting News’ All-Big 12 freshman team and the Dick Bogert Award as Oklahoma State’s top freshman.

2007–2008

As a sophomore, he started all 13 games, and gained honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and a spot on Rivals.com’s All-Bowl Team roster after holding the NCAA sack leader without a tackle in the Cowboys’ 2007 Insight Bowl victory.

2008–2009

His junior year, Russell led the Cowboys with 71 knockdown blocks and an impressive 34-straight starts — the longest active streak on the Cowboys. He was named a first-team All-Big 12 selection, then to Pro Football Weekly’s All-America Team after once again holding the NCAA sack leader without a tackle in a game against Texas A&M for the second time in his college career.

2009–2010

His graduating year, Russell was named No. 1 on Rivals.com’s preseason offensive tackle power rankings, and Sports Illustrated projected the senior as the top tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft. Forty-seven-straight starts later, Russell wrapped up his career as a Cowboy with a Jim Parker Trophy and a trip to the 2010 Cotton Bowl Classic, and was named Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year in addition to first-team All-Big 12.

In The NFL

Regarded as one of the best offensive tackles available in the 2010 NFL Draft, Russell was drafted sixth overall by the Seattle Seahawks, making him the highest Oklahoma State pick in over 20 years and the second-ever offensive lineman from the Cowboys to be drafted in the first round.

2010–2011

Russell signed a six-year, $48 million contract with the Seahawks on Aug. 6, 2010, with $29 million guaranteed. Russell made his NFL debut in the Seahawks’ fourth game against St. Louis after suffering high-ankle sprains early in the season, which he unfortunately battled for most of his rookie year.

By the end of his senior year at George Bush High School, the offensive tackle had been named first-team All-Greater Houston, first-team all-district and the 33rd best offensive tackle prospect of the class of 2006. By graduation, Russell had offers from Big 12 giants Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and powerhouses Nebraska and Louisiana State.

2006–2007

Russell went with the Cowboys of Oklahoma State and after gaining an additional 50 pounds, quickly became one of the best left tackles in the game. His first big break came against Kansas, when he moved into the starting lineup — a position he held for the rest of the season for eight-straight starts, which landed him a spot on Sporting News’ All-Big 12 freshman team and the Dick Bogert Award as Oklahoma State’s top freshman.

2007–2008

As a sophomore, he started all 13 games, and gained honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and a spot on Rivals.com’s All-Bowl Team roster after holding the NCAA sack leader without a tackle in the Cowboys’ 2007 Insight Bowl victory.

2008–2009

His junior year, Russell led the Cowboys with 71 knockdown blocks and an impressive 34-straight starts — the longest active streak on the Cowboys. He was named a first-team All-Big 12 selection, then to Pro Football Weekly’s All-America Team after once again holding the NCAA sack leader without a tackle in a game against Texas A&M for the second time in his college career.

2009–2010

His graduating year, Russell was named No. 1 on Rivals.com’s preseason offensive tackle power rankings, and Sports Illustrated projected the senior as the top tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft. Forty-seven-straight starts later, Russell wrapped up his career as a Cowboy with a Jim Parker Trophy and a trip to the 2010 Cotton Bowl Classic, and was named Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year in addition to first-team All-Big 12.

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