Georgia receiver pulls in juggling catch of the year

Cameron Smith

One can never call something "the best" until a season is completely finished, yet it seems highly unlikely that any juggling catch will possibly be more impressive than the one pulled in by Lambert (Ga.) High wide receiver T.J. Russell.

The play you see above comes from what eventually turned out to be a 35-28 overtime Lambert loss at the hands of Jones Creek (Ga.) High. How he managed to catch this particular 40-yard pass from Brock Maxwell is absolutely beyond Prep Rally's comprehension.

Let's walk through the grab, just to be safe. First, the ball is overthrown, so Russell reaches his left arm out as far as possible, just getting his fingertips on the ball. That tip in turn sends the ball toward a Jones Creek defender, who appears to be in range for a clean interception himself.

Yet Russell never gave up on the play, so as the unnamed Jones Creek defender begins to bring the ball in, Russell pops the ball back out with an accurately timed move in which he pushed with his left arm and made a wild swipe at the ball with his right arm.

The football popped back up, becoming a juggling free-for-all for the second time in as many seconds. This time, the ball was within the Lambert receiver's range, with Russell tapping it up, against himself and then to himself just in time for him to reach the end zone.

Wow. That is serious concentration and coordination.

Sadly for Russell and his teammates, that grab wasn't enough to hand the team a victory, though it was part of a monumental comeback, with Lambert rallying from a 21-0 deficit to take a 28-21 lead. Eventually, Jones Creek pulled out a 35-28 win in overtime after Lambert had a chance to win with a field goal as regulation expired.

That final result takes none of the gloss off Russell's remarkable touchdown grab, which deserves a spot in the pantheon of great juggling catches.

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