Rushel Shell isn't the only Pitt recruit playing in this weekend's Big 33 Game, but he's the biggest one. To be honest, I'm not real thrilled of a game being played this late in the year and fairly close to training camp, where these guys will be headed for their respective colleges. That said, I'm sure these guys could give two craps about what non-players think - they just want to play football and, in the end, you can get injured doing almost anything.
Back to Shell, though. First, The Sports Network has a look at him:
Rushel Shell, RB, Pittsburgh - As one of the top running back recruits in the nation, Shell received offers from top programs like Alabama, Florida and Oregon, but opted to stay closer to home by signing with Pittsburgh. He finished his high school career as the leading rusher in Pennsylvania state history and set a new national record by rushing for 100 yards or more in 39 consecutive games. The Panthers already have one of the nation's best backs in Ray Graham, but it remains to be seen how he will bounce back after suffering a serious knee injury last season. Regardless of Graham's status, Shell should see enough of the field to make an immediate impact.
Barring an injury or something really unforeseen, Shell will definitely see time on the field ... probably even from Day 1. Not too much in rehashing what the preview mentioned, so onto the game.
One player on his team is taking notice of his greatness in practice. Pennsylvania linebacker Bryton Barr knows what kind of player he is from lining up against him this week in practices:
Though Shell stands at a relatively short 5-foot-11, he’s shown already why he was so highly-touted coming out of high school and why folks in Pittsburgh are happy he decided to stay home and play for the Panthers next season.
"He’s definitely the real deal," Barr said. "He’s big. He’ll run you over and the next time you turnaround, he’ll juke you. He’s just an all-around great running back."