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Former Pitt RB Shell picks WVU as transfer destination

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West Virginia transfer Rushel Shell rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns last season at Pitt.
Friday, July 26, 2013, 2:21 p.m.

Rushel Shell has found a new home.

Shell, the leading rusher in Pennsylvania high school history, said Friday that he plans to transfer to West Virginia.

WVU officials had no comment on Shell's decision, but Mike Montoro, director of football communications, said, “Yes, we are actively recruiting him.”

Shell, who has three years of eligibility remaining, would have been the No. 1 running back at Pitt this season before he decided to transfer after six spring practices. Initially, he said he would attend UCLA, but he changed his mind to stay closer to his family, including twin 17-month-old daughters Amiyah and Arionna.

He reached out to Pitt officials this summer for a possible return, but coach Paul Chryst wouldn't allow it. Shell also considered Kentucky, where former Pitt players Chris and Demitrious Davis have transferred, and Ohio State. West Virginia showed the most interest, however.

Shell is the second running back who said he wants to transfer to the Mountaineers. Charles Sims, who has one year of eligibility remaining, joined the team this year from the University of Houston.

As a transfer student, Shell must sit out the 2013 season, but he will join the team next year when running back depth could become an issue for West Virginia.

Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison, the team's leading rushers from 2012, will be seniors when Shell becomes eligible.

Shell, who ran for 9,078 yards and a WPIAL-record 110 touchdowns in four seasons at Hopewell, was the backup to Ray Graham last season at Pitt, rushing for 641 yards and four touchdowns.

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

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