Pittsburgh could have a very significant offensive problem on its hands. Or, it could wind up being nothing at the end of the day.
The way the speculation’s headed, though, it’s looking as if the latter scenario is becoming less and less likely. Maybe.
Leading off what’s a very fluid situation, and citing a source close to the team, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported earlier today that top running back Rushel Shell is considering a transfer from the Panthers. In somewhat of a glimmer of hope, however, the paper reported that Shell had not yet asked for the paperwork that would be necessary for a transfer.
Shell suffered a leg injury at practice Friday and was not on the field Tuesday. Head coach Paul Chryst acknowledged that Shell’s absence from practice was not due to injury, saying “[w]e’ll kind of work through it and then we’ll see.”
This afternoon, however, Arizona State defensive back Damarious Randall tweeted the following: “S/O to @RushelShell for becoming a #sundevil #fearthefork y’all go follow him show em some love …” Obviously, Randall is referring to Shell heading to ASU.
Just as obviously, neither Pittsburgh nor Arizona State has commented on Shell. Requests to Pitt for an update on Shell’s status have not been answered.
If the move west does indeed come to fruition, it would be a significant punch to the gut for the Panthers’ offense. As the primary backup to Ray Graham last season, Shell rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns. Shell, rated as the No. 6 RB in the country in the Class of 2012, entered spring practice as the starter on the depth chart.
For what it’s worth, Panther-Lair.com writer Chris Peak tweeted “Chance of [Shell] returning is low” shortly after Randall’s social media declaration.
Nearly three weeks after leaving Miami, Darrion Owens has found himself a new college football home.
Friday, Houston confirmed that it was officially added Owens to second-year head coach Major Applewhite‘s roster. As the linebacker joins the Cougars as a graduate transfer from The U, he can immediately bolster UH’s defense in 2018.
This coming season marks the Florida native’s final season of eligibility.
Owens joined the Hurricanes as a three-star 2014 recruit. 247Sports.com had him rated as the No. 30 outside linebacker in the country.
After playing in 12 games as a true freshman, Owens opened 2015 as a starter but suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 2. The past two seasons, Owens played in 25 games. In 13 games in 2017, he was credited with 35 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.
In announcing Owens’ transfer from The U, head coach Mark Richt stated that, after the two had talked, “he informed me that he feels his best opportunity to get the most playing time would be at another school.”
Cal lost one of their top running backs to a season-ending injury last year. Now, they’ve lost him for good.
Tre Watson took to Twitter late Friday night to announce that, “after many months of discussion with my family and lots of prayers,” he has decided to transfer from the Bears. He will be pursuing a master’s degree elsewhere, meaning he can play for another FBS school in 2018.
The upcoming season will be Watson’s final year of collegiate eligibility.
In a Week 2 win over Weber State this past season, Watson sustained a serious knee injury and didn’t play the rest of the year. Prior to the injury, Watson’s 83 yards in less than five quarters worth of work this season were leading the team.
In 2016, Watson was second on the Bears in rushing yards with 709 and led the team with four rushing touchdowns. he finishes the Cal portion of his playing career with 1,390 yards and eight touchdowns on 274 carries.
Matt Rhule has officially been reunited with one of his former assistant coaches.
Baylor Friday confirmed that Rhule has hired Frisman Jackson to be his next wide receivers coach. In 2015 and 2016, Jackson served as Rhule’s receivers coach and passing-game coordinator at Temple.
This past season, Jackson was the receivers coach for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
“We are blessed to get Fris fresh off a successful playoff run at Tennessee,” Rhule said in a statement. “After having worked with him before, I know there is no one better suited to take our receivers group to the next level. His experience as both a college and pro player and coach gives him a unique perspective on developing our young men as elite football players, great students and quality men. His ability to teach and develop receivers is second to none. We are excited to welcome Fris, Lindsey, Anya and Forrest to the Baylor family.”
Jackson, who spent six seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver, has previously spent time on FBS coaching staffs at North Carolina State (2013-14), Northern Illinois (2012) and Akron (2010-11). At each of those stops, Jackson was a receivers coach.
“I’m very excited to be back with Coach Rhule,” Jackson said. “I had a great time working with him at Temple. He’s a smart coach, he’s a fair coach and he’s a true family guy. I know he is going to do things the right way.
“Getting back with coaches I have worked with before makes the transition easy and smooth. Those two years at Temple were some of my best years as a coach. We had a great run and I’m looking forward to doing the same things at Baylor.”
Miami lost a pair of underclassmen starting defensive tackles to the NFL draft, putting a serious dent in the interior of its line. A couple of weeks later, however, it appears The U has somewhat softened that early-entry blow.
247Sports.com reported Friday that Tito Odenigbo has decided to transfer from Illinois to Miami. As Odenigbo would be coming to the Hurricanes as a graduate transfer, he would be able to play immediately for the ACC team in 2018.
The upcoming season would be the defensive tackle’s final year of eligibility.
This past season, Odenigbo started four of the 10 games he played for the Illini, and his 4½ tackles for loss were tied for second on the team in 2017. All told, Odenigbo played in 21 games at Illinois, starting five of those contests.
Prior to the NFL’s deadline, tackles RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton confirmed that they would be leaving Miami early for the NFL draft.