Tyler Russell and his younger brother, Kyle, rest in between Tyler's workouts at Ray Stadium in Meridian.
Six months removed the shoulder surgery that hurt his chances of making of an NFL roster, Tyler Russell describes himself as 80% healthy.
"When I do get my time… I don't know when it will be. I can't tell you,” said Russell. “Right now, I'm about six months out of surgery. The doctor says it's probably going to be about.... a month and a half now, maybe two, until I'm 100 percent healthy."
But in the meantime, his days are full. When he isn’t helping out with his father's lawn business, he's doing everything he can to be ready when he is healthy enough to accept a mini camp offer. He wakes up everyday at 4:30 in the morning for weight sessions with personal trainer Mike Sanders.
"And he'll call every phone in the house to wake me up. If i don't get up," said Russell
Three times a week, Russell gets help from long-time friend and exercise science graduate Will Fuchs (ho recently got a degree from Ole Miss) who runs routes from the former bulldog.
"We ran 25 routes today, and didn't have an incompletion,” said Fuchs. “You know, he puts it on the money every time. His arm looks strong, and it's just going to continue to get stronger."
When they have finished, Fuchs pushes him grueling sprints of 40, 60 and 100 yards.
"We're just working on getting as much power into the ground as possible."
He hears from Demond Kauffman, his Houston, Texas-based agent, almost everyday. Kauffman wants to know how his workouts are going and how he's progressing. Russell has even started a Facebook fan page to make himself as visible as possible.
"I post all my workouts, everything that I'm doing. So, if any teams want to [ask], 'Hey, what is Tyler doing right now? Is he just sitting down, not doing anything, or is he constantly working out?'"
The answer is the later. Joined by Fuchs and his two younger brothers, Russell is doing everything he can to be ready for when he's 100 percent healthy and opportunity knocks.
"Tyler's always got a great attitude. Ya'll know him,” said Buchs. “This city's behind him, and he knows it., and he comes to work every day.
"Now it's just up to getting cleared by the doctor, and I'm sure he'll be able to get on with somebody."