Gorman: Shell will sell Pitt to WPIAL recruits
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Not much prodding is needed to get Rushel Shell to dish on his daydream of playing on a Pitt team where the tailback is surrounded by fellow Western Pennsylvania stars.
When Shell picked Pitt a year ago, the former Hopewell great promised to become the Panthers' top recruiter and bring the best of the WPIAL with him.
“The thing I think most about is, the WPIAL has a lot of athletes,” Shell said. “I feel like if a lot more of us stay home, Pitt will be like it was when Dorsett was here.
“That's how it was back in the day. It was all WPIAL guys. They built everything around them. I feel like that could happen again.”
Shell stuck to his commitment through a coaching change last December and was joined by Fox Chapel offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, Clairton cornerback Trenton Coles, Shaler tight end J.P. Holtz and Sto-Rox linebacker Deaysean Rippy in the Class of 2012.
Despite enduring constant comparisons to Tony Dorsett — the 1976 Heisman Trophy winner who not only played at Hopewell but whose name adorns its football stadium — Shell didn't shy away from following in his footsteps by picking the Panthers.
It's not lost on Shell that Blackhawk junior quarterback Chandler Kincade also picked Pitt despite being called the next Dan Marino.
“You want to be compared to the best,” Shell said. “It's motivation to be the best.”
If Shell wants to be the best at Pitt, he's going to need talented teammates.
Shell imagines running the ball behind an offensive line anchored by Bisnowaty and Belle Vernon tackle Dorian Johnson, flanked by Holtz at tight end with Clairton's Tyler Boyd and Central Valley's Robert Foster as playmaking receivers.
With Boyd, Foster and Johnson making official visits to Pitt this weekend — Shell was to serve as Foster's host — the Panthers prepared to throw their best pitch. And Shell was ready to shill for Pitt, serving as salesman and spokesman.
Shell played against Foster and Johnson in high school and has watched Boyd play multiple times. Where Shell, Bisnowaty and Coles teamed to keep their class together last winter, they now could play important roles in helping to lure the trio of WPIAL standouts to Pitt.
“I look at it as we've got a game this weekend, a game we've got to win,” Shell said. “We've got to land these guys. They could change a lot of things as freshmen.”
Spoken like someone who knows exactly what it means.
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.
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers; Marte injured
- Greeks reject demands for more austerity in key referendum
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Police: Maine man shoots off firework from top of head, dies
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Murrysville home damaged in blaze
- Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
- Initials carved into pig in Georges Township