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Shell inquires about returning to Pitt

| Sunday, June 23, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Running back Rushel Shell, a Hopewell product, made the decision to transfer from Pitt, a heady decision for a 19-year-old.

Running back Rushel Shell has reached out to Pitt officials about returning to school after asking for a release from his scholarship three months ago, a source close to the situation told the Tribune-Review.

Also, the Los Angeles Times, citing another unidentified source, reported Sunday that Shell has decided not to transfer to UCLA, where he had said he wanted to go after leaving Pitt, to remain close to his 16-month-old twin daughters, Arionna and Amiyah.

It was not known whether Pitt would allow Shell to return.

Shell was not available for comment Sunday night. A Pitt spokesman had no comment.

Shell, who was targeted to be Pitt's featured running back this fall, stopped going to practice after the sixth session of the spring and told coach Paul Chryst he wanted to transfer. He said in April that he planned to transfer to UCLA. He visited the campus and attended the Bruins' spring practice.

Pitt officials granted him permission to transfer but blocked him from going to Arizona or Arizona State because of the presence there of former Pitt coaches. He also was blocked from attending ACC schools.

Shell set a Pennsylvania high school record, rushing for 9.078 yards while at Hopewell before joining the Panthers for his freshman season in 2012. He played 12 games — after a one-game suspension for the opener — and finished second in rushing with 641 yards and four touchdowns. He made his only start in the BBVA Compass Bowl in place of injured starter Ray Graham.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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