The University of Kentucky came up short in the Deuce Finch sweepstakes, as the St. Xavier star running back and Kentucky Mr. Football committed to Boston College on Thursday.
But the Wildcats were still able to fill a major need at the position when defensive line coach Rick Petri secured a commitment from Donald Russell, a tailback from Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.).
Russell, a three-star recruit who's listed as the 49th-best back in the country by Rivals.com, selected Kentucky over Southern Miss. Russell rushed for more than 1,000 yards, had more than 500 receiving yards and scored 15 TDs as a senior. Petri, a former assistant coach at the University of Miami, visited Russell on Thursday.
Russell is expected to add depth to the Wildcats' thin running back corps. Kentucky returns three scholarship tailbacks: junior Alfonso Smith and sophomores Moncell Allen and Derrick Locke. But Allen's status is uncertain because of academics, and Locke is coming off a knee injury.
Finch picked Boston College over UK and Illinois.
UK also got a commitment this week from Rockwell, Texas, linebacker Ryan Mosby. Mosby, a 6-foot-1, 200-pounder, previously committed to Iowa State before Coach Gene Chizik left for Auburn. A three-star recruit, he selected Kentucky over offers from UNLV and Colorado State.
Kentucky now has 23 commitments for its 2009 recruiting class. National signing day is Feb. 4.