High-SchoolPennsylvania: Rushel Shell

Five local stars make ESPNHS All-American football team

December, 22, 2011
A quintet of football stars from Pennsylvania were honored today on the ESPNHS All-American team.

Senior tight end Colin Thompson of Archbishop Wood and senior Noah Spence of Bishop McDevitt earned first team All-American nods. Thompson, according to the list...

"Whether run blocking or catching passes, Thompson made a huge impact for the Vikings, who rolled to the Class AAA state title. Rated the nation's No. 1 tight end by ESPNU, Thompson has committed to Florida."

Spence, according to the list...

"Spence, who was named Gatorade State Player of the Year, finished the season with 108 tackles and 12.5 sacks while leading McDevitt to the Class AAA state final. The Ohio State recruit is rated No. 4 in the ESPNU 150."

In addition to the two first-teamers, senior running back Rushel Shell of Hopewell made the second team. On the third team was junior offensive lineman Robert Kugler of North Allegheny and senior offensive lineman Brandon Arcidiacono of Archbishop Wood.

For the full list of ESPNHS All-Americans, click here.

Five Days of List-Mas: PA's A-List

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: Pennsylvania's A-Listers.

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in Pennsylvania? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Colton Storm (JR), Cumberland Valley, Soccer
Credentials: Rated the nation’s No. 5 recruit in the ESPNU 150: 2013, played on USA U-17 National Team

4. Jimmy Gulibon (SR), Derry, Wrestling
Credentials: Nation’s No. 1-ranked wrestler at 126 pounds by InterMat, Penn State recruit, three-time state champ

3. Noah Spence (SR), Bishop McDevitt, Football
Credentials: No. 4 in the ESPNU 150, Offers from 24 major college programs, state finalist, All-American

2. Amile Jefferson (SR), Friends’ Central, Basketball
Credentials: No. 24 in ESPNU 100, ESPNHS Cover (Holiday 2011), Recruited by a dozen major college programs

1. Rushel Shell (SR), Hopewell, Football
Credentials: No. 24 in ESPNU 100, All-Time state rushing leader, Pittsburgh recruit, ESPNHS cover (Sept. 2011), All-American

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Tomorrow: The top underclassman football players from Pennsylvania.

Hopewell's Shell commits to Pittsburgh

October, 14, 2011
ESPNHS Mag: Rushel Shell | Get Familiar: Rushel Shell | ESPN Recruiting

Catch Shell on TV tonight as Hopewell plays Central Valley on ESPNU at 6 p.m. EST.

For ESPN Recruiting's full coverage of Shell's announcement, click here.

Hopewell (West Aliquippa, Pa.) senior running back Rushel Shell, the nation's No. 24 recruit and No. 3 RB in the ESPNU 150, verbally committed to Pittsburgh this morning.

Shell announced his decision in a ceremony at Hopewell High School. He was also considering Alabama.

Shell is currently the career rushing leader in Western Pennsylvania. He surpassed the WPIAL career mark for rushing yards on Sept. 23 in a game against Mount Lebanon. The previous record was 7,646 yards, set in 2000 by Mike Vernillo of Fort Cherry. Shell did not play last week due to a concussion.

Shell has been one of the nation's most highly recruited athletes. As of his decision this morning, roughly half of the players above him in the ESPNU 150 had yet to commit to a college program. In addition to Pittsburgh and Alabama, schools such as Auburn, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia and West Virginia had pursued Shell. Oregon was also reportedly in the mix.

In a conversation with ESPNHS last week, Shell talked about what it meant to finally make his college decision.

It’ll take a lot off my shoulders, that’s for sure," he said. "It’ll be nice to not think, 'What am I thinking about this school or that school.' I can just move forward. But it’s been a great experience throughout the recruiting process. I’ve put a lot of thought into my decision, I’ve made up my mind and I’m pretty happy with it."

Shell attends the same high school as NFL Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, who was in attendance when Shell broke the WPIAL rushing record. The football field at Hopewell is named after Dorsett. Shell told ESPNHS over the summer that he's had conversations in the past with Dorsett about becoming a better running back. Dorsett also attended the University of Pittsburgh.

"He told me you have to make yourself a smaller target," Shell said. "He said if I do that I can be the best."

Shell and his Hopewell Vikings (4-2) are playing on ESPNU tonight at 6 p.m. Their opponent is Central Valley (6-0), which is currently ranked No. 4 in the POWERADE Pennsylvania Weekly Rankings.

Hopewell's Shell out of tonight's game

October, 7, 2011
Hopewell senior running back Rushel Shell will not play in tonight's game against New Castle. According to multiple sources, the nation's No. 24 player in the ESPNU 150 has a mild concussion and is being held out as a precaution.

Shell reportedly suffered the concussion last week against Blackhawk. In an interview with ESPNHS earlier this week, Shell made no mention of the concussion but did say he was excited to play against Central Valley in a game that will be televised on ESPNU. Shell is expected to make his college decision on that day as well.

Shell honored as East Player of the Week

September, 22, 2011

Hopewell senior Rushel Shell's outstanding performance this past weekend (367 yards rushing, 101 yards receiving, 6 TDs) earned the stellar senior ESPNHS East Player of the Week honors. Shell, the nation's No. 24 player and No. 3 running back in the ESPNU 150, helped his team earn a 55-28 victory and stay perfect at 3-0.

For highlights of his impressive campaign, check out the ESPNHS Weekly Report above (skip to the 0:58 mark for Shell's highlights).

All-State Stock Watch asks, ‘What’s in a name?’

September, 21, 2011
Each week, we’ll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses.

This week, one of the nation's top players puts up one of the nation's best performances, a quarterback reminds us of an NFL player and an offensive lineman doesn't get enough credit because of his name.


UP — Rushel Shell, Hopewell, RB

In what was arguably the top performance in the nation this past weekend, Shell pummeled the Moon defense in a 55-28 win. He rushed for 367 yards, added 101 more in receiving yards and scored a total of six touchdowns. Shell is rapidly closing in on the WPIAL record; he's just 134 yards away and could easily surpass that mark this weekend against Mount Lebanon.

DOWN — Brandon Arcidiacono, Archbishop Wood, OL

Arcidiacono is having a fine season, and his team is one of the best in the state. But he may not even be the best player in the state named "Arcidiacono." That's because Ryan Arcidiacono of Neshaminy is poised to be one of the nation's top basketball players this winter. The nation's No. 34 player in the ESPNU 100 has verbally committed to Villanova. Brandon, though, is no slouch — he's committed to play football at Rutgers next fall.

UP — De'metrious Cox, Jeannette, QB

It's not all that uncommon for QBs to do most of the work with their feet; in fact, it's probably more common than a pure pocket passer. But it's not often you see a quarterback rush for 200+ yards. But Cox was at his best this past weekend, leading the Jayhawks to a 36-7 win over Waynesburg Central. Cox rushed for 201 and scored four touchdowns in the game. Performances like that remind us of shades of another star QB at Jeannette — Terrelle Pryor, the former Ohio State star who's now with the Oakland Raiders.

Records within reach for Hopewell’s Shell

August, 22, 2011
Rushel ShellDanny Vega/ESPNHSRushel Shell of Hopewell is the nation's No. 3 running back in the ESPNU 150

Hopewell senior Rushel Shell graced the cover of the September issue of our ESPNHS Pennsylvania magazine, which hit schools this week. Shell, rated the nation's No. 24 player and No. 3 running back in the ESPNU 150, enters this season on the verge of some impressive state records. By equaling his rushing totals from his junior season, he'll end his career as Pennsylvania's all-time leading rusher.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Shell has indicated he's made his college choice but isn't announcing his decision until October, possibly to coincide with Hopewell's nationally televised game against Central Valley on Oct. 14.

To read Shell's impressive story, click here.