MOBILE, Ala. -- Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell made an appearance in a Mobile courtroom Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Russell was arrested July 5 as part of an undercover investigation after a bottle of codeine syrup was found at his home. He did not have a prescription for the substance.
After entering the plea of not guilty, Russell was given a preliminary hearing date of August 11.
The Mobile Press-Register quoted Russell's attorney, Donald Briskman, as saying, "We're looking forward to the hearing on Aug. 11. I asked the court to set it early so we could get this behind us."
Russell, who played high school football at Williamson High School in Mobile and went on to play college ball at LSU, was released by the Raiders this past May. He was selected by Oakland with the top overall pick of the 2007 draft, but was just 7-18 as the team's starting quarterback before his release.