Rushel Shell reached out to the Pittsburgh coaching staff after a last-minute change of heart regarding his transfer to UCLA. Paul Chryst and the Panthers decided they were not interested in Shell's return, and now the former high school All-American must find a school to continue his football career.
Zuccaro, speaking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the first time since Shell's decision to leave Pittsburgh in April, explained that her son's desire to be near his 16-month-old twin daughters in Hopewell, Pa., was the reason he decided not to attend UCLA.
"He came home after school was over and he started spending a lot of time with his kids and stuff," Zaccaro said Wednesday. "That's hard."
Zuccaro said Shell has received inquiries from local Division II schools, but her son wants to transfer to an FBS program in the area -- even if it means sitting out a season. The plan, according to Shell's mother, is for the rising sophomore to visit West Virginia, Ohio State and Kentucky this summer with hopes of making a decision before teams open fall camp in August.
Pittsburgh initially blocked Shell from transferring to Arizona and Arizona State, but he reportedly has been released to transfer to any of the three schools on his final list.
Shell showed a lot of promise during his freshman season with the Panthers, rushing for 641 yards as a backup to Ray Graham. The 6-foot, 220-pound running back set Pennsylvania state rushing records in high school and was a five-star prospect, according to the 247 Composite rankings. When Shell takes the field again, wherever that may be, he will have three years of eligibility remaining.