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Rushel Shell to UCLA, But Sun Devil Fans Shouldn't Be Alarmed

It turns out it doesn't matter if Pittsburgh denied a transfer to ASU because the 6-foot-1 running back decided to become a Bruin.

Shell rushed for 151 yards against Virginia Tech
Shell rushed for 151 yards against Virginia Tech
Photo: Charles LeClaire - US Presswire

No need to worry anymore. Running back Rushel Shell has officially decided to transfer to UCLA this fall.

The former five-star running back played one season at Pittsburgh before taking a temporary leave of absence from the team. When he announced to the school that he wanted to transfer, he had interest in four Pac-12 schools - Arizona, Arizona State, California and UCLA.

Pittsburgh denied his request to go to either of the Arizona schools because they did not want him to play for former head coach Todd Graham or another former assistant coach who is now working with the Wildcats.

Shell rushed for 641 yards and four touchdowns last season as a freshman and he would have been a full-time starter this coming season now that Ray Graham graduated. Shell had his first collegiate 100-plus yard rushing game against Virginia Tech and he had an impressive 79 yards on 25 carries in the BBVA Compass Bowl after replacing an injured Graham.

Shell will have to sit out the 2013 season, so the Bruins will have to wait a full year before they can unleash another offensive weapon.

Though this may come out as bad news to Sun Devil fans, who now have another reason to hate Pittsburgh football, it actually does not have much effect on their Rose Bowl chances.

The ASU backfield is already loaded with two superstars in Marion Grice and D.J. Foster who can single handedly destroy opponents on one play. But people in Tempe may be forgetting about Deantre Lewis who is nearly 100 percent healthy from his gunshot injury he sustained before the 2011 season, and Terrell Davis and Marcus Washington could provide options as power backs if needed.

Coach Todd Graham said in the later weeks of the spring schedule that he wants to use a three running back system and he is currently working on a new offensive set to have three of the four on the field for the same play.

Lets not give away any secrets yet, but the Sun Devils' running game may be the best its ever been in the past decade and Shell's decision is not going to hurt that reputation.

It's always nice to add a former top-10 running back out of high school who broke a state record in rushing yards, but he is not a necessity in Tempe and fans should not get down on the fact that he chose UCLA.

Besides, the maroon and gold wont see Shell play against them for nearly 17 months.