Wednesday, July 21, 2010


ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — Hopewell (Pa.) tailback Rushel Shell has rushed for more than 4,000 yards and 46 touchdowns during his high school career.

(left, Shell)

Putting up those type of numbers in a football hotbed like western Pennsylvania seems daunting to say the least. However, when you take into account that Shell is only halfway through his high school career, the thought of 4,000 yards just leaves you shaking your head in total disbelief.

The 5-foot-11, 210 pound junior broke onto the scene as a freshman at Hopewell, rushing for more than 1,500 yards and 14 scores, while earning Pittsburgh Post Gazette "Fabulous 22" honors.

After making his presence known in a huge way during his freshman campaign, Shell followed it up with an even bigger explosion in 2009, totaling 2,465 yards and 32 touchdowns on a ridiculous 9.9 yards per carry.

So much for the sophomore slump, huh?

Hailing from the same school that produced hall of fame running back Tony Dorsett, Shell brings a much different style to the backfield than T.D. did. Dorsett was smooth and graceful. Shell is about passion and punishment.

"I try to pattern my game after (Minnesota Vikings All-Pro) Adrian Peterson," Shell told The Buckeye Times on Tuesday. "I bring unselfishness and heart to a football team. I never give up no matter what."

Shell has been such a dominating runner early on in his prep career that the University of Pittsburgh — also Dorsett's alma mater — offered the star tailback a scholarship when he was just a freshman.

Of course, Shell's incredible numbers coupled with his great size, speed and tenacious running style has garnered a whole lot of attention from some of the best collegiate programs in the country.

Shell said that Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, UCLA, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pittsburgh have all displayed a vested interest in him thus far in the recruiting process.

However, Shell informed The Buckeye Times that he does have one school at the top of his interest list.

"Ohio State is my No. 1 school as of right now," Shell said. "Ohio State has a great atmosphere and always has a great team.

"I'm an Ohio State fan."

The Buckeyes have yet to offer Shell but one could definitely be coming in the near future. Ohio State hasn't offered a running back in the 2011 class, and as it appears, aren't planning to do so.

This means the tailback position could be the Buckeyes top priority for the class of 2012. With outstanding tailback prospects like Warren Ball (Columbus DeSales), Barry Sanders Jr. (Heritage Hall/Oklahoma City), Bri'onte Dunn (Canton GlenOak) and Shell all in the class, the Buckeyes could really make up for passing on 2011.

Ball recently informed The Buckeye Times that Ohio State is atop his interest list, as well.

As of right now though, Shell isn't dwelling on where he will be playing in the future, he is completely focused on the upcoming season for Hopewell.

"My goals that I have for myself this year is to make my team better, and for my team to go further than we did last season." Shell said.

The Buckeye Times will continue to keep close tabs on this star runner from western PA.

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