When Rushel Shell announced his intention to transfer from the Pitt Panthers program, he made no secret of his plans to look west towards the Pac 12 for his next football team. While there has been some drama in that decision, it appears that the wait to find out his choice will be short. After a very successful trip to Los Angeles, is Rushel Shell ready to commit to the UCLA Bruins?
Shell visited UCLA over the weekend and got to see the team in action during the scrimmage on Saturday. While he watched the current Bruins practice, he also had a chance to speak with former Bruin running back Johnathan Franklin about the program. Franklin told Shell how different things were under Jim Mora now and how UCLA was a program on the rise that is on their way to big things very soon.
Franklin made a very good impression, apparently, as Shell raved about the environment surrounding UCLA, saying “I love it here in Los Angeles.” Shell told reporters that he would make his decision soon and the Bruins appear to be in prime position to welcome him to campus.While Shell will have to sit out the 2013 season, he still has three years of eligibility left and will make an excellent fit in Mora’s offense. Shell has the build and ability to be the every-down back that Franklin was in 2012 and that UCLA is scrambling to find for 2013.
UCLA was one of four Pac 12 schools that Shell expressed interest in when he announced his plans to leave Pitt, and they are the only program that remains a viable option. Pitt blocked Shell from transferring to the Arizona State Sun Devils (to rejoin former Pitt coach Todd Graham) and the Arizona Wildcats (where former Pitt running backs coach Calvin Magee is on staff). The Cal Bears were also on Shell’s list, but academic concerns spoiled that match before it picked up any steam.
At the end of the day, UCLA appears to be the perfect spot for Shell. There’s mutual interest and all parties involved will get some satisfaction out of this decision. It’s a win-win for everyone and appears like an imminent match.
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