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COLLEGE: Russell leaves UK for Campbellsville

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By The Staff

Former Anderson County High School three-sport star Jacob Russell has decided to leave the University of Kentucky baseball team for Campbellsville University, according to a news release.  

Russell has committed to play both football and baseball at Campbellsville, the release said.

"We are extremely excited to have Jake in our program," Campbellsville baseball recruiting coordinator Brad Neffendorf said in the release. "He was highly recruited this past fall by the entire Mid-South Conference as a two-sport athlete and we are very happy he decided to choose (Campbellsville) where he will play both baseball and football."

After becoming a four-year starter for the Bearcats in football basketball and baseball, Russell chose to pursue football as his sport of choice at Eastern Kentucky University.

Once on campus Russell fought for the starting quarterback position and ended up playing in seven games for the Colonels as a true freshman. During those games he recorded a completion percentage of 46.2 and threw for 125 yards in limited pass attempts (12-for-26).

On the ground is where Russell used his mobility, rushing for 117 yards on 36 attempts. He was also tied for third on the team in rushing touchdowns (2).

At the end of the 2010 season at EKU, Russell decided to follow a life-long dream by transferring to the University of Kentucky after the fall semester.

While at UK, Russell never appeared in a game but shined in the annual Blue/White scrimmage in the spring of 2012. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had a 54-yard rushing touchdown but was sacked seven times. Russell also threw for 96 yards on 8-24 passing and a touchdown.

But with the football coaching change at Kentucky in the fall of 2012, Russell decided to go out for the baseball team which was ranked in the top 25. Russell saw limited playing time for the Wildcats who were highlighted by young talent.

While playing in four games, Russell recorded one hit in six at-bats.

In the summer of 2013, Russell played in 43 games with 38 starts for the Newark Pilots in the Perfect Game Collegiate League. He hit .199 (27-for-136) with 22 runs, three doubles, four triples, four homeruns, and 27 RBI. He also stole 3-of-4 bases while notching four outfield assists.

Known, for his power and ability to hit to all parts of the field, Russell is expected to make an impact for the defending NCCAA World Series qualifying baseball team. While being mainly used as an outfielder, he can play first base, catcher and also be used as a relief pitcher. But with his full baseball duties in the spring Russell will also be involved with the football team during meetings to learn the offense.

"We are very excited to have Jake as a part of the program," Campbellsville quarterbacks coach Hunter Cantwell said in the release. "He is an older guy that has proven himself at the highest level and is still getting better.”

Russell will be eligible to play at Campbellsville in the spring semester.