Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung is a leading force on the field, known for his outstanding pass protection and dominating run blocking. He was born October 7, 1987 and grew up in Fort Bend, TX. Okung attended George Bush High School in Fort Bend County where he played offensive tackle and was named first-team all-Greater Houston, first-team all-district, and later listed as the 33rd best offensive tackle prospect of the class of 2006. Weighing in at 250 pounds coming out of high school, recruiters seemed weary as Russell did not possess the ideal body size for an offensive tackle. However, body mass proved no disadvantage as this 6’5”, energetic player was recruited by many key schools including Oklahoma, LSU, and Nebraska. Russell eventually committed to Oklahoma State University in January 2006.
Russell caught his first big break against Kansas during his freshman year when he moved into the starting lineup and held the position of right tackle for the rest of the season, totaling eight straight starts. Starting all thirteen games during his sophomore season, Russell became one of the team’s most valuable players as he played a consistent left tackle for the Cowboys. By his junior year coaches were naming him a first-team all-conference selection as he led the team with 71 knockdown blocks while starting in 34 straight games, the longest active streak on the Cowboys. By October 2009, Sports Illustrated projected Okung as the top senior tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft. Okung ended his career at Oklahoma playing in the 2010 Cotton Bowl Classic ending a streak of 47 straight starts.
Russell’s outstanding awards and honors include:
Believed to be one of the best offensive tackles available in the 2010 NFL Draft, Russell was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as the sixth overall pick, making him the highest Oklahoma State pick since 1989 and the second offensive lineman ever picked from the university in the first round of an NFL Draft. On August 6, 2010 Russell signed a six-year, $58 million contract with the Seahawks including $29 million guaranteed.
During his first NFL season, Russell suffered high-ankle sprains on both of his ankles allowing limited playing time as he missed the final two exhibition games and the first three regular-season games. After returning to the playing field, Russell quickly lived up to his reputation and proved himself as valuable asset and outstanding teammate.