JaMarcus Russell, perhaps the biggest NFL draft bust this side of Ryan Leaf, is preparing for a return to the NFL. And unlike his previous stint in the league, this time Russell appears to be serious.
The top pick of the 2007 NFL draft has reportedly lost 27 pounds since he began training in February. Working with Brian Martin of TEST Football Academy and TEST West, Russell is down to about 288 pounds, and he'd like to lose another 20 by the time he holds a pro day later this spring.
"Through the first couple weeks, I could barely make it through the workout," Russell says in a video produced by Bleacher Report. "We go in to do the warmup, and here I am breathing like a fat man. Now I'm breathing pretty good and able to stand up on my own two feet."
In addition to his work with Martin, Russell has a host of All-Star coaches who are reportedly helping him with his return. Jeff Garcia (quarterback technique training), Olympian Ato Boldon (speed training and analysis) and former running back Marshall Faulk (reading defenses) are just a few of Russell's teachers as he works his way back to the gridiron.
With quarterbacks getting injured early and often, and a weak incoming draft class, this could be a perfect time for Russell to reassert himself as a reliable backup.