West Virginia added yet another piece to the puzzle Friday, when former Pittsburgh running back Rushel Shell announced his intentions to join the Mountaineer football program.
Shell had narrowed his choices to West Virginia and Kentucky, but after a mid-week visit to Morgantown decided that his best fit was with the Mountaineers in head coach Dana Holgorsen's program.
The 6-foot, 215-pound running back must sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules but will have three years to play three beginning in 2014. Safeties coach Tony Gibson was the lead recruiter for Shell and was instrumental due to his prior relationship that was forged when he was an assistant with Pitt.
Pittsburgh announced that Shell would transfer in early April after rushing for 641 yards and four touchdowns during his freshman campaign. Initially he sought a release to Arizona State, Arizona, California and UCLA.
Ultimately he would decide on UCLA in mid-April, but would elect not to enroll in Los Angles, instead wanting to find a program closer to home in order to be near his children.
From that point, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio State were all mentioned by Shell's family as possible destinations for the talented running back due to the proximity from home, but he would only visit the Mountaineers before announcing on twitter that he would make his selection at week's end.
A former Rivals.com four-star prospect and the 45th best player in the country in the class of 2012, Shell is the all-time leading rusher in the state of Pennsylvania eclipsing the 9,000 yard-mark for his career at Hopewell High School before selecting the Panthers over Alabama.
Shell is just the next in several off-season transfers for West Virginia beginning with quarterback Clint Trickett who came to Morgantown from Florida State and Charles Sims, the running back transfer from Houston.