By the time he steps on the field as a Pittsburgh Panther, Rushel Shell may be one of the most celebrated prospects to ever arrive in Oakland.
That's not particularly surprising considering his accomplishments. He's the WPIAL's top all-time rusher. He's Pennsylvania's top all-time rusher. He's a USA Today All-American. His 39 consecutive 100-yard games broke a 36-year old national record set by a Heisman Trophy winner.
So yeah, there's a lot to hype about Rushel Shell. And with his high school career officially over as he prepares to spend his summer at Pitt's South Side practice facilities, there's still a few more accomplishments to recognize.
Shell's already earned the Post-Gazette's Player of the Year honor (twice). And now the Tribune Review has named him as their High School Boys Athlete of the Year.
He spoke to the Trib about his high school career, his expectations in college and fatherhood:
What are your first impressions of college life?
"The experience of college is different. It makes you realize you have to be mature. There’s no one to pat you on the back, tell you to get to class. Everything is on you."
You were recruited by the old Pitt coaching staff, so what are your impressions of the new one under Paul Chryst?
"The transition wasn’t a big deal for me. I was committed to the university. This staff is more about action, not talk. They’re going to show you something and be about it."
What will make your freshman season a success?
"Seeing the field, but I’ve got to prove to the coaches and the upperclassmen that I’m mature enough to be up there, and I can make an impact."
Just one more recognition of an amazing high school career.
The PG also recently wrote about Rushel Shell being one of the top high school athletics stories of the year:
RUSHEL'S RECORD RUN
Hopewell running back Rushel Shell not only breaks the WPIAL rushing record, but also breaks the state rushing record in the final game of his career. Shell finishes with 9,078 yards, and his career and college recruitment (he signed with Pitt) made him one of the most publicized players in WPIAL history.
I'll say it again: Graham, Bennett, Shell, repeat.