After retiring from the NFL, former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Dontavius Russell is starting a new position on a new roster as a resident in Tanner’s administration department.
As an administrative resident, Russell will be spending a year working with Tanner’s leadership team to learn the ins and outs of the health system’s operations.
Russell, 26, was born in Carrollton and graduated from Carrollton High School in 2014, where he was a force on and off the field, helping lead the Trojans to a 13-1 season his senior year.
After high school, Russell continued his athletic career at Auburn University (’14-’18) while earning his bachelor’s degree in health services administration. Russell was an outstanding student-athlete and collected several academic achievements during his collegiate career. And before graduating, he helped Auburn secure 41 wins and four bowl appearances while amassing 154 career tackles.
After college, Russell was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. Now retired from the NFL, he is looking forward to a career in healthcare administration.
While earning his degree, Russell was also an intern at East Alabama Medical Center in 2018, where he converted patient health records and worked with patients to help them improve their health literacy.
Russell said his passion for health care stems from his desire to give back and make an impact by helping address some of the health disparities affecting his community. But he said one of his biggest inspirations is his mother, Latrice Russell, RN, who has been a registered nurse at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton for 23 years.
“Everyone at some point will have to navigate through the healthcare system,” said Russell. “I have always wanted to be a proponent in bettering the lives of the people who live around me, as well as the people who I have grown to care for and love. I’m excited to be rejoining the community and seeing the wealth of knowledge that Tanner has to offer.”
Russell now lives in Carrollton with his family and enjoys spending time with his wife, Blake, and 14-month-old son, Donnan.