Former top-five running back recruit Rushel Shell will not be transferring to UCLA.
The 6-foot, 215-pound Pitt back had announced his intent to become a Bruin after a mid-April visit to Los Angeles. After rumors circulated on Twitter over the past few days, Rivals.com reported that Shell changed his mind and was trying to return to the Panthers. According to the Los Angeles Times, he wanted to remain closer to his twin daughters.
Shell also displayed poor judgment on social media after his April announcement, including one that drew the attention of UCLA running backs coach Steve Broussard.
As a freshman, he rushed for 641 yards in 2012, including a 157-yard outburst in Pitt’s 35-17 win over Virginia Tech. Scout.com rated him five stars after he racked up a state-record 9,078 career yards at Hopewell High in Aliquippa, Pa. — the alma mater of Pitt great Tony Dorsett, the 1976 Heisman winner.
UCLA still enters the fall with a committee at running back, one likely helped by the impending NCAA qualification of four-star recruit Craig Lee. The Bruins are also trying hard to recruit 2014 five-star running back Joe Mixon.
UPDATE: Somewhat unsurprisingly, Shell will not be allowed to return to Pitt.