Anthony Russo got up around 6:30 a.m. for his second pro day. He began the day with some yoga at home before driving to Edberg-Olson Hall for more stretching and treatment from Temple’s training staff.
Temple’s Pro Day, which was held Wednesday afternoon at STAR Complex, was his first time back on North Broad Street since transferring to Michigan State in January 2021. He left after five seasons at Temple, including three as starting quarterback.
“I made lifelong friendships with guys on this team,” Russo said. “So being back here with them and being back in North Philly, there’s nothing like it so I’m happy to be back.”
Russo played in 31 games at Temple, but his third season was marred by a shoulder injury. He’s ranked third in program history in completions (536), passing yards (6,287), and touchdowns (44). In his only season in East Lansing, Mich., he was beat out for the Spartans’ starting job. Russo appeared in two games and threw for 43 yards, completing 7 of 9 passing attempts.
The 6-foot-4 quarterback sat out the 40-yard dash, three-cone drill, broad jump test and shuttle drill on Wednesday. He just threw balls for the offensive skill position players followed by the defense. It was a chance to both reconnect with his former program and get an extra workout.
Russo went through athletic testing at Michigan State’s Pro Day on March 16. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.94 seconds, recorded a 31.5-inch vertical, and ran a 4.57 20-yard shuttle run.
For six weeks he trained at TEST Football Academy in Bridgewater Township, with his camp wrapping up on March 12. He worked with their quarterbacks coach Tony Racioppi, who was a two-time All American and runner-up for Division III National Player of the Year while at Rowan. Along with Russo, Racioppi trained projected first-round pick Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh), Dustin Crum (Kent State) and Spencer Petras (Iowa).
“I think the biggest difference is just the way that I’ve been able to transform my body, getting leaner and stronger,” Russo said. “Mentally, I think I’m better just understanding defense, blocking schemes, protections and all that stuff. I think my confidence as well, throughout everything that has happened the past year and a half.”
He dropped eight percent of body fat over the six-week span and bolstered his skillset during pre-draft training.
Between participating in pro days at Temple and Michigan State, Russo has spoken with the Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Las Vegas Raiders and New York Giants.
Of the three offensive players he threw passes, running back Tayvon Ruley was the only former Owl. But Russo shared the field with 11 f the 16 athletes who participated in Wednesday’s Pro Day.
While the rest of the participating players had all their measurements taken, the Doylestown native spent that time cheering everyone on , according to former Temple center C.J. Perez.
“He’s a genuine guy,” Perez said. “He’ll drop it like it’s hot with anyone. Dap you up and talk to you like he’s one of your guys. We played three games together, that was it. But he’s the type of guy who will be cool with anyone.”
Russo only exchanged pleasantries with Temple coach Stan Drayton for about five minutes, but he made plans to visit a spring practice to better connect with Drayton and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf.
“From what I’ve seen with Coach Drayton and his staff, they seem like a great fit for this place,” Russo said. “A lot of people talk about the ‘Temple TUFF’ mentality. I think they truly have it and they show it through their actions. That’s just from being around them one day.”