Rushel Shell leaving Pitt, according to multiple reports

Justin K. Aller

The Pittsburgh Panthers are losing their top freshman from their latest recruiting class.

After several days of speculation, Pitt running back Rushel Shell has officially departed the program. Chris Peak of Rivals and Gregg Giannotti of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh reported that Shell mulled his decision for a few days, then filed his papers and is ready to move on.

Pitt is expected to release a statement Tuesday. Shell's potential decision to leave had been hovering over the program for the past week. Pitt head coach Paul Chryst hinted in a recent statement that Shell had been dealing with personal issues and that the program was totally supportive of whatever Shell decided to do.

Shell was considered a 2012 consensus top-10 running back prospect and the jewel of Pitt's recruiting class. He was recruited by prior head coach Todd Graham, who left the Panthers to take over the coaching vacancy at Arizona State. Shell was an immediate contributor in his first season, averaging 4.55 yards per rush, gaining 641 yards and rushing for four touchdowns while also catching nine receptions for 103 yards.

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