On a sabbatical from the Pittsburgh football team as he’s “working through some challenges right now,” Rushel Shell has apparently completed said work — much to the detriment of the Panthers’ running game.
While the school has yet to publicly discuss Shell’s status, multiple media outlets reported late Monday night that the running back has decided to transfer out of the program. Rivals.com‘s Pitt website, Panther-Lair.com, wrote that Shell “received his transfer papers on Monday and will finalize the departure process on Tuesday.”
Finalizing the process will include a list of potential transfer destinations on which head coach Paul Chryst must sign off. It’s believed the Pennsylvania high school product will ultimately transfer to a Pac-12 school, specifically Arizona State to play for former Pitt head coach Todd Graham.
Shell has not practice with the Panthers since March 22, when an “injury” sidelined him for the next couple of sessions. Speculation surfaced on March 27 that Shell was strongly considering a transfer. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Shell was reportedly “upset with coaches’ criticism after a scrimmage.”
Once the transfer paperwork has been finalized, Pitt’s expected to release a statement on Shell’s departure.
As the primary backup to Ray Graham last season, Shell rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns. Both of those totals were good for second on the team, and tops among returning backs.
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 and remained there through the first handful of spring practices.
With Shell apparently out of the mix, the running game responsibility will fall on the shoulders of junior Isaac Bennett and redshirt sophomore Malcolm Crockett.