So, today we had our fun with April Fools Day posts all day long. But this appears to be real. No, seriously.
93.7 FM's Gregg Giannotti has the scoop here on Twitter:
So where to? Giannotti followed that up by saying:
Don't know where he wants to go or both sides of the story just was told that papers are filled out.— Gregg Giannotti (@937Giannotti) April 1, 2013
Look, folks - I know your first inclination might be that this is another cruel April Fools joke. But this is coming from The Fan, not Cardiac Hill. The Fan is the official flagship of the Panthers - they aren't throwing this out there as a joke (well, unless Nordenberg thought it would be kind of cool and signed off on it).
So with that said, this is terrible news if it goes down. He took some time off from the team and the hope was that he might have a change of heart ... but that didn't happen.
I've said it before, but Shell is not the pedestrian running back some will have you believe. Just because he didn't have a monster year as a true freshman playing behind a senior likely headed to the NFL doesn't mean he's not a star in the making. If you prefer to believe that garbage, that's perfectly fine and you're well within your rights. And if time proves you to be correct, I implore you to call me on it in a few years. But Shell has a unique combination of power and quickness that should make him a very good running back. He. can. play.
Okay, so now the question turns to where? Where will Shell end up? I'm not sure but maybe we'll find out tomorrow when Pitt is expected to issue a statement. The PG's Sam Werner says he will meet with the coaches tomorrow to determine where he can go. For some reason, speculation has him potentially going out west. Either way, do you really care? If Shell ended up at Arizona State or maybe West Virginia, I could see a certain level of disdain. But other than that? Whatever.
The focus now turns to the anticipated backups, Isaac Bennett and Malcolm Crockett. Bennett is likely the starter for now, but Crockett has impressed in the spring and will push for carries. I'm fine with the duo, but do I expect a downgrade from what Shell would have brought? At least a little. Bennett had a huge spring last year and all but disappeared off the face of the earth, unable to sneak carries away from Graham and Shell. Hard to feel all that confident that he'll be as good as Shell was when he could barely get on the field last year.
Doesn't mean he can't turn into a star, only that we've really got no idea yet how good he can be.
We'll have more on this as it breaks, obviously.