After five days of thinking it over, Rushel Shell has made his decision. The freshman running back will seek a transfer from Pitt, a team source confirmed Monday.
Shell will meet with coaches today to finalize a list of potential destinations. Pitt can restrict Shell from pursuing a transfer to certain schools. Multiple sources indicated Shell likely will seek a transfer to a school in the Pacific-12 conference. Per NCAA regulations, he must sit out next season at any Division I-A institution.
Shell's decision initially was reported by 93.7 The Fan's Gregg Giannotti.
The former Hopewell High School star has not participated in the Panthers' spring practices since March 22, when news broke that he was debating a move away from his hometown school. Thursday, Pitt coach Paul Chryst granted Shell "time away from football" to think over his decision.
"Like many college freshmen, Rushel is working through some challenges right now," Chryst said Thursday in a statement. "As it is for all members of our team, my most important concern is his personal well-being. Rushel and his family have our full support. We are giving him time away from football to work through this situation, but he very much remains a part of our family on a daily basis."
It's unclear what is affecting Shell's decision. Chryst declined to comment on the situation Thursday and Friday after practice, but did explain his general philosophy regarding players seeking a transfer.
"I think all these guys, you want to do what's best for each individual," Chryst said Thursday. "That's paramount. These are individuals, and then you also want to make sure that you're doing what's best for your team. And I think you can do them both at the same time."
Without Shell, Pitt likely will turn to junior Isaac Bennett and redshirt sophomore Malcolm Crockett to carry the load at running back.mobilehome - pittsports
Sam Werner: email@example.com and Twitter @SWernerPG.