MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former four-star running back Rushel Shell could become a rarity by seeing both sides of the Backyard Brawl.

After an encouraging freshman season at Pitt—and a U-turn this summer at UCLA—the transfer is reportedly considering West Virginia, Ohio State and Kentucky as his next destination. But would WVU extend a scholarship offer to a player Pitt coach Paul Chryst declined to allow back on the team?

“There’s interest,” said a source within the Mountaineers’ program.

Shell’s mother, Toni Zuccaro, told two Pittsburgh newspapers her son was attempting to schedule a visit to Morgantown next week. He previously visited WVU in high school when the Mountaineers were among the countless BCS programs pursuing him.

After setting the Pennsylvania career rushing mark with 9,078 yards at Hopewell High, Shell chose Pitt—a signing pitched as a major haul for a program seeking a return to its glory days of three decades ago.

Despite being suspended for the 2012 opener in which Pitt lost to Youngstown State 31-17, Shell put together a solid freshman campaign with 641 yards rushing and four touchdowns. His breakout performance was a 157-yard performance in a 35-17 upset win over Virginia Tech.

Shell’s only start came in the BBVA Compass Bowl, a 38-17 loss to Ole Miss in which he carried 25 times for 79 yards.

Presuming Shell lands at a FBS school, he must sit out the upcoming season and would become eligible as a sophomore in 2014. By that point, West Virginia figures to have three senior running backs on the depth chart — Andrew Buie, Dustin Garrison and Dreamius Smith—along with Wendell Smallwood, who will be a true freshman this fall.

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  • hivoltage

    RamblinMan, are you having green withdrawal symptoms. Huntington is calling and wants you back. Please give us a rest and GOOOOO.

  • tony

    interest yes, but better have someone on board to keep a close eye on him..someone that has changed so many times you have to keep an eye on him for character issues

  • clair thompson

    By the way pgh mountaineer just what happened to steve slaton, did he just quit on us or was there more in the background. This question has haunted me for years. Someone must know.

  • Brian

    Give the guy a second chance to play ball and be close to his family. The guy is trying to be closer to his kids, what's wrong with that? He has to sit out a year and he works out fine if not move on. It's a very low risk very high reward situation. Can you blame anyone for not wanting to play at Pitt?

  • Don

    We all make mistakes, I am 78 and still make mistakes. Give this young man a break and we shall see.

  • Tim

    He should go to Shepherd where he could play right now!

  • Chef Camille

    Maurice Clarett!

  • grey4449

    I remember a transfer by the name of Jeff Holstetter. He beat OK. at Ok. Went to the NFL and won a super bowl. Married the coaches daughter. Sometimes good things happen, give the guy a chance.

  • Larry Wiseman

    I have been hearing a lot about 3- tier rights, I also heard that Kansas, I think, has signed a deal with ESPN 3 to carry some games, I SURE HOPE WVU DOES NOT GO THAT ROUTE, SINCE EVERYONE IN HAMLIN, WV CAN'T RECEIVE ESPN 3 ON THEIR WEB SITE, I FOR ONE, WOULDN'T WATCH, EVEN IF I COULD!!

  • cutty77

    Gibby is Tight with Shell,because of his days at Pitt. Watch this angle.

    • wvu41

      how in the hell did we end up with gibson as a coach?thought we lucked out when he followed rod to michigan.

  • saltydog

    I don't think the knuckleheads who say pass on this guy know the type of rare talent we are talking about with Rushel Shell. He is the all time rushing leader in Pennsylvania High School football history the same way Tavon Austin was the all time leader for the state of Maryland. That kind of talent is worth taking a chance on my fellow Mountaineer fans.

  • wvman75

    Chryst and Pitt are just sowing sour grapes because the guy decided to transfer in the first place. Maybe they feel he disrespected their program and didn't believe in their system enough. Who knows? I hope we get him and he does well.

  • wvrefugee

    Holgerson will be probably be gone before this kid becomes eligible anyhow!

    • Tim

      Yep.. He will be at Texas after they fire Mack Brown

      • Maxxajay

        Tim. My though too...

  • D.Mode

    Huggins is my Personal Jesus