Rushel Shell transferring to WVU

Former Pittsburgh running back Rushel Shell will transfer to West Virginia, Shell told ESPN on Friday.

Shell visited West Virginia on Monday and chose the Mountaineers over Kentucky. He must sit out the 2013 season at West Virginia and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

"Things went really well down at WVU," Shell said. "I enjoyed every moment of it. We toured the campus and facilities, and I got a chance to hang out with other recruits and players on the team.

"They made my visit terrific and made me feel like family."

Shell is the second high-profile transfer running back West Virginia has recently landed. Last month, senior Charles Sims said he would transfer from Houston to WVU. Sims will have one year of eligibility this fall, the season Shell must sit out.

Last year as a true freshman at Pitt, Shell was the Panthers' second-leading rusher.

However, in April, Shell left Pittsburgh's program. He initially was going to transfer to UCLA but changed his mind. He never enrolled at UCLA.

He contacted Pittsburgh's coaching staff about the possibility of returning, but Pitt coach Paul Chryst would not allow Shell to return.

Shell has two young daughters and wanted to remain close to home in Hopewell, in the southern part of Pennsylvania.

West Virginia was among the schools that initially offered him a scholarship after his record-setting senior year at Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, Pa. Shell finished as the state's career high school all-time leading rusher with 9,078 yards.