By Matt Popchock
Pitt recruit Rushel Shell has collected plenty of accolades. He ended his high school career with both the WPIAL and PIAA all-time rushing records in tow, and he was named WPIAL Football Player of the Year for 2011 by both major newspapers.
But before the Hopewell tailback heads to Oakland, he has the honor of participating in a brand new high school football all-star game out in Arizona.
On Tuesday night Shell will dress for the inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix, an East-versus-West exhibition game featuring 100 of the top college prospects in the country. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 P.M. and it can be seen live on the CBS Sports Network.
Shell, who finished the season with 2,312 rushing yards and his career with 9,078, is one of eight players representing Pennsylvania in this game and one of six from the WPIAL. Quarterback/safety Skyler Mornhinweg (St. Joseph’s Prep) and offensive tackle J.J. Denman (Pennsbury) will be joined by tight end and fellow Penn State recruit Jesse James (South Allegheny), along with Adam Bisnowaty (Fox Chapel), Deaysean Rippy (Sto-Rox), Greg Garmon (Erie McDowell), Demetrius Cox (Jeannette), and Shell.
Pennsylvania is tied with Georgia for the third-most representatives in this year’s game. Only Illinois (nine) and California (14) are sending more players.
Garmon, who has reportedly narrowed his decision down to Arkansas, Iowa, and Miami (FL), is expected to announce his college choice during Tuesday night’s telecast. The running back topped 1,000 yards as a senior and led the Trojans with 16 total touchdowns.
Cox, who most recently visited Michigan State, has offers from ten schools coast to coast, including Pitt and Penn State. He’ll likely play safety in college, and as Jeannette’s quarterback he led the Jayhawks to the WPIAL Class AA Final by racking up 23 total TD’s, and over 2,000 all-purpose yards.
Rippy is rated the nation’s No. 13 outside linebacker by MaxPreps. He too has widespread college offers, and he has already visited Pitt, WVU, and Colorado. Rippy also recorded eight TD’s and nearly 400 receiving yards for the Vikings, who enjoyed their first-ever perfect regular season and went to the WPIAL Class A title game.
Bisnowaty, who was rated among the top 25 offensive tackles in the country by MaxPreps, committed to Pitt during another fine season individually at Fox Chapel in which the Foxes made the WPIAL playoffs for just the ninth time in program history.
Check your cable listings to see where you can find the CBS Sports Network.
(Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mpopchock)