By Jim Henry

Globe Assistant Sports Editor

Seneca High School teammates Dusty Webb and B.J. Russow didn't exactly come to Missouri Southern as a package deal.

"I think I was for sure before he was,'' Russow said. "I knew he was interested. Once I knew he was going there, I felt a lot better about it.''

Russow, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, and Webb, 5-8, 175, signed letters-of-intent to play football for the Lions on Wednesday, the first day of the national signing period.

The Lions also signed Matt Stout, 6-3, 290 offensive lineman from McDonald County High School.

Russow, a two-way starter along the line, earned all-state honors on defense. He led the Indians with 99 tackles, including 16 for losses and 13 quarterback sacks, the 10th highest single-season total in state history.

He likely will play linebacker at Missouri Southern.

"Obviously it's going to be different,'' he said. "I'll have to be faster. I'll have to see the field a lot better. In a couple of years, I don't think it will be too hard. I think I'll adjust well.

Webb, projected as a defensive back and kick returner for the Lions, intercepted two passes last season, giving him 10 for his prep career. He also was Seneca's quarterback, totaling 503 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing and 520 yards and six scores passing.

"It doesn't matter whether I play offense or defense,'' he said. "I love both.''

"As with any high school athlete, they're going to have to get bigger, stronger, faster,'' Seneca head coach Chance Wistrom said. "Their work ethic and their intensity will allow them to do those things and stay the course until they get their opportunity.

"B.J. has outstanding explosiveness and quickness. Dusty is an excellent return man, and along with athletic ability, both are very intelligent football players. Between them, they probably called 70 percent of the offensive plays we ran. B.J. would see what the defensive front was. He would sometimes relay what he saw to Dusty, and Dusty would change the plays.

"We put a lot of responsibility in their hands. A large portion of our success is due to them and their fellow seniors.''

The Indians won the Big 8 Conference championship and finished 12-1, losing to eventual champion Platte County in the Class 3 semifinals.

Other schools considered were Pittsburg State by Webb, Westminster by Russow and William Jewell by both.

"I liked the coaches and the location,'' Webb said about choosing MSSC. "I wanted to stay close to home. What I have planned for the long run (pharmacy school), I will be going far away.''

"The coaches are all nice. All the guys are real cool,'' Russow said. "They have a good program on the way up. It's a good place to be.''

Stout was a first team all-Southwest Conference selection and second team all-state pick for McDonald County, which finished 4-6.

"The decision wasn't that tough," said Stout, who also visited the University of Missouri and William Jewell, and considered Southwest Missouri State. "When I went to visit Southern, I felt at home there with the coaches and the players."

Said McDonald County coach Jeff Wilkie: "I told (the Southern coaches) that they were getting a steal in Matt.

"His biggest strength is he's a very good run blocker. And as much as we've thrown the ball the past two years, he's spent a lot of time pass blocking. ... He's very intelligent and I think he will be very successful there."

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