The Post-Gazette's Sam Werner did an excellent job of factfinding when it comes to the case of Pitt transfer Rushel Shell. So even before I comment on the update, be sure to check out the full story here. There are some key things there as to the timeline/why Shell didn't go to UCLA, how UCLA responded, etc., that for the sake of brevity, I'm not going to cover. Just check it out - worth your five minutes.
With that out of the way, Werner dropped several key pieces of information. Maybe chief among them to me is that Paul Chryst didn't even return Shell's calls or texts according to the running back's mother:
"It was a little frustrating when coach Chryst wouldn't answer his calls or his text messages," Zuccaro said.
"He went in and talked to the coaches, but then we didn't hear nothing back at all. So we found out like everybody else found out."
We can't prove if that's true, obviously. But if it is, I've got a small a problem with that. Even if Chryst was still up in the air about him returning, why wouldn't he at least let Shell know? The staff should have at least extended the courtesy of telling Shell before it was leaked out in public. I don't want to make too big of a deal out of it, because Shell didn't exactly always put the team first himself. But to be fair, the coaching staff has that obligation to communicate better there.
Next up, we learn that potential destinations for Shell include Ohio State, West Virginia, and Kentucky. His mother said D-II schools have reached out to him, but it sounds like that isn't really what he wants to do.
Getting back to that original list, it's Sesame Street time. Quick, which of those three things doesn't belong? Looking at you, Wildcats. Well, one reason Kentucky shows up is apparently that Shell is friends with the Davis twins formerly of Pitt, who landed there after their transfer. I mentioned that in the open thread last week, not believing it amounted to a whole lot. But it just might help the team land Shell, apparently.
Ohio State seems like it may be the frontrunner as Shell strongly considered them out of high school, but it's also the best of the three programs and my guess is that playing time will be harder to come by there. That's likely going to be a big factor for Shell - particularly if he wants to make the jump to the NFL after sitting out this year and playing a year in school.
West Virginia is the best option if Shell wants to be close to home, obviously, so I've got to think they're right in the mix as well.