Well, that was quick.
Shortly after deciding to transfer from Pitt, Rushel Shell has reportedly decided he's on the move to UCLA.
The move to the Bruins isn't all that unexpected. Shell was widely rumored to have interest in four schools - UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, and Cal. As I wrote a few days ago, Shell was visiting UCLA this past weekend. That came on the heels of being barred from transferring to Arizona and Arizona State (at least as a scholarship player in his first year). Cal reportedly said 'thanks, but no thanks' to the running back and that really only left UCLA.
I expected Shell to take a look around and expand his list a little, but he's apparently been sold on the Bruins.
One reason Shell decided to jump ship to UCLA? He believes the program is on the rise:
"He was telling me about the program — how it's about to take off," said Shell, who gained 641 yards rushing as a freshman at Pittsburgh in 2012. "He said this is going to be big-time under [Coach Jim] Mora."
That 'he' referenced would be former UCLA running back, Johnathan Franklin.
Program on the rise? That remains to be seen. The Bruins had a good year last season, going 9-5. But other than that, UCLA has been pretty bad in recent years. Still, point taken.
Maybe someday we'll hear about Shell's massive desire to go out west, but that day is not this day. To me, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around his reason for insisting on going out there when that was never a priority the first time around.
So what to think of this? I don't particularly care. Losing Shell still sucks and as I said before, it's a blow to the team (though, how big of one can be reasonably debated). Even if you're of the mindset that Isaac Bennett can put up numbers that would have rivaled what Shell would have done, his loss means the team is a lot thinner at running back. If nothing else, the departure of Shell means that Pitt has significantly less depth - and that could be a problem.
Other than that, I'm sure most are probably happy Shell didn't end up with Todd Graham at Arizona State. But in the end, I just don't care all that much where he ends up.
Either way, though, the saga finally has an ending.
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