So, um ...
It's pretty clear that barring anything unforeseen, Rushel Shell will enter this season as the football team's starting running back.
That was the opening line in my article from yesterday about Pitt's backup running back situation. Don't blame me but that unforeseen situation may be happening.
I awoke to the Twittersphere in disarray as rumors of Rushel Shell possibly transferring broke, though the reasons aren't known.
This all started (from what I can tell, anyway) with an @WPIAL_Insider tweet:
BREAKING NEWS: Pitt Panthers running back Russell Shell asked for his transfer papers today and is apparently set to Transfer!!!!!— WPIAL_Insider (@WPIAL_Insider) March 27, 2013
West Virginia quarterback Chavas Rawlins, who has ties with Pitt players like many Mountaineers do, tweeted:
Rushel shell leaving #Pitt— Chavas Rawlins (@ChavRawlins) March 27, 2013
FWIW, Shell had nothing of consequence to add on his Twitter feed. And adding fuel to fire was that Shell reportedly wasn't at practice on Tuesday. And it wasn't confirmed if he'd be there Thursday by Paul Chryst.
I feel like Obi-Wan screaming at Anakin in Revenge of the Sith: YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE!
There's no way to sugarcoat this. Will Pitt football live on if Shell transfers? Of course. But Shell is/was part of a younger group that was supposed to lead the Panthers' football program into the ACC. Pitt is relying on him heavily for next season - particularly to help an offense that could struggle a little in the passing game.
You can understand many transfers for a variety of reasons, but I just wouldn't get this one if it happened. Shell is the starting running back, so it's not playing time. He's also from here and has family here, so it's not to get closer to home. Frankly, I just wouldn't get it.