Report: Shell not returning to Pitt

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Rushel Shell, who rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman, will not be reinstated to the Pitt football team, the Post-Gazette reported on its Web page Monday.


Shell, a graduate of Hopewell High School, told coaches in April he was transferring to UCLA. But he apparently had a change of heart and asked officials if he could return to Pitt. They said no.


Shell, one of the most hotly recruited running backs two years ago, is the father of twin girls and wanted to stay close to home.


Shell was expected to be the Panthers starting tailback this season after Ray Graham graduated.


The 6-0, 215-pound Shell will have to sit out a season if he enrolls in another Division I program, leading to speculation that he might choose to play Division II football.


Three Division II schools that are close to his Hopewell Township home are California University, Seton Hill and Slippery Rock.


Shell was one of the most prolific high school runners in state history, finishing his four-year career with 9.078 yards and 110 touchdowns. He set a national record with 39 consecutive 100-yard games, eclipsing former Oklahoma Sooners great Billy Sims’ mark of 38 set in 1975.


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