By Abbey Way and Matt Popchock

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Rushel Shell was a star running back at Hopewell and one of the most anticipated freshmen in the country this year at Pitt. But his college football debut came a week late because head coach Paul Chryst served Shell with a one-game suspension for disciplinary reasons prior to the start of the season.

Shell sat out the first game against YSU, but got his chance  to play early in the game on Thursday at Cincinnati. He collected 31 yards on eight attemps, and his first carry in a Pitt uniform went for a first down.

“I’m young, I make mistakes, you learn from them every day and you learn not to make those mistakes ever again, and not hurt your team,” Shell said. “I know they got to put it on me, I broke the rules and I won’t let it happen again.”

Shell said he was surprised that he got into the game early, but he is happy to be earning his team’s trust and getting playing time.

“It was really exciting just to get back on the field it has been a whole year since high school, and since I got to play football and compete,” Shell said. “It’s a new level so everything is a lot faster and just as good as I am.”

Shell shares playing time with sophomore Issac Bennett and senior Ray Graham.  He said he doesn’t mind that the three running backs rotate into the game as long as the best player for each situation is on the field.  

Shell also discussed what it was like running the ball for the first time and what shocked him the most about the higher level of play:

Kickoff between Pitt and Virginia Tech will be at noon on Saturday at Heinz Field on your flagship home for Panther football, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan.

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