Former Pro-Bowler, #2 Overall Draft Pick Darrell Russell Dead in Car Crash


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The 1997 overall #2 NFL Draft pick by the Oakland Raiders, Darrell Russell, was killed in a high-speed car crash early Thursday morning. A  NFL Pro-Bowler in 1998 and 1998, Russell had a promising young career going until he was suspended three times by the league for susbtance abuse violations.
Before his disappointing and brief NFL career, Russell was a star defensive lineman at the University of Southern California. He passed away at the age of 29, shortly after the car in which he was a passenger, driven by former USC teammate Mike Bastianelli spun out of control, off the road and crashed into numerous objects.

According to the Sporting News:

After being released by the Raiders at the end of his second suspension, he played briefly for the Washington Redskins in 2003 and was released before training camp by Tampa Bay the following year.

Russell’s first suspension came after he failed a drug test, forcing him to miss the first four games of the 2001 season. The NFL does not disclose details of substance-abuse violations. The league’s policy covers a wide range of issues, including the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Russell was then suspended again in January 2002 for testing positive for the club drug Ecstasy. He was released by the Raiders in October 2003, shortly after being reinstated by the league.

Read more about the details of the crash, as well as Russell’s life by going here:

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