Following his successful high school career Russell made the leap to the Division 1 Hornets. Following a redshirt freshman year in 2004 Russell took the field in nine games in 2005. In 2006, playing as a sophomore, he saw action in all 11 Hornets’ games. In 2007 he played in 12 games and notched his first start. He finished the season with 24 total tackles and added one tackle for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, and one pass breakup. The 2007 squad compiled a 10-2 overall record, finished 8-0 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), won the MEAC championship, and earned the first playoff berth in school football history, before falling to the Joe Flacco led Delaware Blue Hens in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.
As a senior in 2008, he became a solid part of the Delaware State defense. From his defensive line position he finished seventh on the team in tackles with 40 stops. He also recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. In his four seasons with the Hornets he played 43 games and totaled 71 tackles (30 solo and 41 assisted), 5.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, and one interception.
Russell is the most recent addition to a Mariners defensive line, which includes former Maryland Terps’ lineman Henry Scott and former Minnesota Viking Fearon Wright.