Hopewell's Rushel Shell runs for a touchdown against West Allegheny last season.
By Mike White Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Scouting services consider him one of the top players in the country for the Class of 2012. Shell was terrific as a freshman and sophomore, rushing for 4,256 yards. He's only the second player in WPIAL history to rush for 4,000 yards by his sophomore season. He had 2,740 yards last season, including 275 in the WPIAL Class AAA title game, and has a chance at the WPIAL career record of 7,646, set by 2000 Fort Cherry graduate Mike Vernillo.
Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama and Florida are among the schools that already have offered scholarships. Pitt made its offer to Shell when he was a freshman.
OUR QUESTIONS, HIS ANSWERS
Q: Almost all of the starters on last year's team graduated. Is it questionable how good your team can be this year?
A: I'm thinking everyone is thinking we're an underdog this year. But the younger kids are really stepping up and taking a big role on the team. If we play as a team, we can be as good as last year.
Q: How is the offensive line?
A: They're young, but they're bigger than last year's line. Our line wasn't that big last year, but they had good technique and were real physical. Practice will help this year's line out.
Q: You had a tremendous sophomore year. Can you duplicate that?
A: It all starts up front with the line, like you just asked me. So much depends on how the line and wideouts block. I'll do as well as I can. Maybe I can do even better this year.
Q: I've heard [Hopewell graduate] Tony Dorsett has talked to you some ...
A: Not a lot. Just a couple times. He told me once that I need to learn how to make myself a smaller target for defenses and then I can be one of the best runners.
Q: I've heard that you like Ohio State.
A: That's true. Ohio State is my top school right now, but everyone has a chance. They're all pretty much even.
Q: Is there anything different about you this season?
A: I'm heavier. I weigh more.
Q: Do you still watch "Hannah Montana?"
A: Yeah. I watch a lot of Disney stuff.
Q: I'm sure you heard the rumors again this spring that you were transferring to Aliquippa. Why does that seem to keep coming up?
A: I guess because I have a whole lot of family from there.
Q: What do you think of LeBron's decision?
A: Everyone criticizes it, but he did what was best for him. I agree with him. He did what he felt would help him in the long run.