Jerry Russell thrived at end during one of the most successful eras of Garland football. During his senior season of 1954, Jerry helped guide Garland to the 3A Quarterfinal Round of the state playoffs before losing to eventual state champion Breckenridge, 20-7. He was voted team captain and earned Second-Team All-State honors. The district championship picked up by Garland that year was the first of four-consecutive titles for the Owls from 1954-57—a feat that has only been matched one other time in history (1994-97).
He also flourished on the basketball court and as a track athlete, claiming the district title in the broad jump as a senior despite having never competed in the event before that year.
Following his high school athletic accomplishments, Jerry was recruited by various colleges, including Kilgore, Tyler, Arkansas and Texas A&M before accepting an offer from North Texas. Jerry played end and back for the Eagles and helped the team win two Sun Belt Conference Titles (1955-56) and one Missouri Valley Conference Title (1958). His football career was ended after suffering a knee injury on the opening kickoff of his senior season.
After graduating from North Texas, Jerry went to work for an insurance company while also attending law school at Southern Methodist University. He obtained his law degree, passed the State Bar of Texas, then in 1967, began practicing law in Garland.
Jerry ventured into state politics a few years later, serving Garland and District 33 in the House of Representatives during the 63rd Legislature. From 1973-75, Jerry conducted business on several committees, including Business and Industry, Elections, Elections Subcommittee on Recodification, and Transportation. He also served as Vice Chair of the Business and Industry Subcommittee on Real Estate. At the conclusion of his term, Jerry returned to Garland and continued a successful law practice.