Following up on the speculation that first emerged a week ago, and the reports that surfaced Monday night, Pittsburgh has confirmed that one of its top returning offensive weapons has left the building.
In a statement released by the school, head coach Paul Chryst acknowledged that Rushel Shell has decided to transfer from the Panthers. While the destination was not revealed by Chryst nor anyone connected to the program, it’s believed the soon-to-be true sophomore running back will ultimately land at a Pac-12 school in general and Arizona State specifically.
“Rushel and I met on Tuesday morning and he informed me of his final decision to transfer,” Chryst’s statement began. “I wish him only the best moving forward. Out of respect for Rushel, his family and his privacy, this will be my final comment on the matter.”
Chryst had announced late last week that Shell would be leaving the team in order to work through some things.
Barring the unexpected, Shell will be forced to sit out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules if he moves on to an FBS program. He would then have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
With the departure of leading-rusher Ray Graham (1,042 yards), losing Shell and his 641 yards puts a sizable dent in the Panthers’ returning production in the run game. In fact, the returning running backs totaled just 248 yards combined in 2012, with three rushing touchdowns. Graham (11) and Shell (four) accounted for 15 rushing touchdowns.