Shell to visit WVU, talking with Kentucky
By John Harris
Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 3:09 p.m.
Former Pitt running back Rushel Shell will visit West Virginia as early as next week as he plans to select from a list of three colleges where he will resume his football career.
Shell, a Hopewell graduate who set the state high school rushing record with 9,078 career yards, also will visit Ohio State and Kentucky, said his mother, Toni Zuccaro.
“West Virginia, we're trying to set something up there for next week,” Zuccaro said.
“When he was in high school, he went down there for a football game. We know a little bit about West Virginia, but we want to see more.
“It's very important (to make the right decision) because this is his last chance for a Division I school.”
Shell was unavailable for comment.
Zuccaro said her son has been in contact with first-year WVU assistant Tony Gibson, who recruited Shell when he was an assistant at Pitt.
Shell signed with the Panthers and rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman last season. He made the decision to transfer despite being listed as the Panthers' No. 1 running back in spring practices.
After preparing to transfer to UCLA, Shell recently decided to attend school closer to home, where he has young twin daughters.
However, Pitt coach Paul Chryst didn't welcome back Shell, which is what her son would have preferred, Zuccaro said.
“I was very disappointed because I really like Paul Chryst,” she said. “I think he's a good guy. But for whatever reason, he decided not to take Rushel back. We can't say we didn't try. Now we're going to Plan B.”
Plan B includes visiting three schools that recruited Shell when he was in high school and are relatively close to home.
West Virginia, located in Morgantown, is a 90-minute drive. Ohio State, in the capital of Columbus, is 31⁄2 hours away. Kentucky, located in Lexington, is the longest trip at six hours.
WVU and Ohio State (formerly coached by Jim Tressel) made scholarship offers to Shell when he was starring at Hopewell.
Current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer recruited Shell when he was coach at Florida.
Shell didn't initially consider Kentucky, which is now on his radar as a result of his familiarity with new Wildcats coach Mark Stoops, who recruited Shell when he was an assistant at Florida State.
Also, two of Shell's former teammates at Pitt — Demitrious and Chris Davis, who transferred to Kentucky — told Stoops that Shell was looking for a new school.
“The twins that left Pitt and went to Kentucky threw Rushel's name out there, and the coaches knew exactly who they were talking about,” Zuccaro said. “(Stoops) thought he was going back to Pitt, but when they realized Pitt wasn't taking him back, they've been talking to him ever since.”
If Shell transfers to WVU, Ohio State or Kentucky, he would have to sit out a year and would be eligible beginning in 2014.
If he wants to play this year, Shell could attend a Division II school. Zuccaro said that among local schools, Indiana (Pa.), California (Pa.) and Edinboro have made inquiries.
“The only thing I like about a D-II school is that he would play this year,” Zuccaro said. “ But if you still have D-I schools still looking at you ...”
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @jharris_trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.