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Golden Recruiting Wire: Rushel Shell Update

What's the status on the Pitt transfer?

Jared Wickerham

As you all know, early last week rumors started to circulate regarding Rushel Shell and his possible transfer to Cal. Almost immediately after this news came out, various reports claimed that Cal was in fact not interested in the former 5 star running back recruit.

Rumor has it that Dykes was put off by Shell's reportedly poor work ethic and disinterest in academics.

The other report that came out saying something similar to this was from a website called It should be noted that this website has also said some blatantly untrue things, like claiming that Khalfani Muhammad will see reps at Spring practice with Bigelow and Lasco being injured (Muhammad isn't even on campus yet).

Regardless, although this is still mostly conjecture, it tentatively appears that Shell will not becoming to Cal. With the Cal coaching staff not saying any word on the situation, Shell's academic issues seem to be the most logical reason why. Shell would undoubtedly be a tremendous asset in the backfield. Regardless, it is still relatively uplifting to see Dykes turn down a player of this caliber because he believes he won't be a good fit for Cal. Actions such as this help rebuild a culture of academic and athletic prestige; it insinuates that student athletes cannot only be good athletes, they must also be strong students and individuals of character.

This point is further evidenced by the fact that Shell did take a visit to California this past weekend, but he only ended up visiting one school, UCLA. For all intents and purposes, UCLA appears to be where he will end up, since he has been blocked from attending his other 2 favorites--Arizona and Arizona State.

I believe UCLA would be smart to take this guy. They just lost their workhorse Jonathan Franklin to the NFL draft. Being a team that heavily relies on a strong running attack, the Bruins coaching staff will be looking to fill the void left by Franklin ASAP. Shell, a big, powerful back, would fit nicely into UCLA's power running game offense. Additionally, UCLA doesn't have to worry as much about their APR, since they were 3rd highest in the PAC 12 in APR this last year; UCLA can afford to take more of a chance on Shell and his potentially academic shortcomings.

Look for Shell to make a final decision in the next few days.