—UPDATE: Friday, June 27, 10:20 p.m. EDT—
According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, Ohio State is out of the running for Rushel Shell, as the former Pitt running back told ESPN Friday evening that he is now considering just West Virginia and Kentucky.
Shell intends to make his decision after visiting both schools.
Additionally, Jonathan Martin of BlueGoldNews.com—part of the Scout.com network—tweeted his belief that the Mountaineers are in the lead for Shell's services.
Stay tuned for more news of the Rushel Shell saga as the story develops.
It has been a long summer already for former Pittsburgh running back Rushel Shell, whose transfer saga has sent him from Pitt, out west to UCLA, and now back to the east once again.
As reported by Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, according to Shell's mother Tori Zuccari, Shell will now be considering West Virginia, Ohio State and Kentucky, as his search for a landing spot continues (h/t Ben Kercheval, CollegeFootballTalk).
This past spring, Shell elected to transfer from Pitt to UCLA, only to decide earlier this week that he wanted to transfer back to Pitt to be close to his twin daughters.
As Zuccari revealed to Werner, this decision was prompted by an emotional going-away party thrown for Shell on Father's Day.
Once he made his decision to return to Pitt, Shell made attempts to contact the Panthers coaching staff to no avail.
Eventually, he and his family found out that he wasn't welcome back at Pitt from a news report, as Zuccari told Werner:
It was a little frustrating when (Pitt head coach Paul Chryst) wouldn't answer his calls or his text messages. He went in and talked to the coaches, but then we didn't hear nothing back at all. So we found out like everybody else found out.
On the other hand, Zuccari told Werner that the Bruins coaching staff was more understanding of his plight and his obligation to his family:
They were very understanding because they knew the distance and what we had talked about when I was out there: Him leaving the kids, leaving us, being away from us that long.
Zuccari also confirmed to Werner that Shell would be transferring to another Division I school, even though he would have to sit out one season to comply with NCAA regulations.
Finally, Werner reported that Shell intends to visit all three schools this summer and make his decision before teams open their fall camps in August.
West Virginia just recently accepted another transfer running back, Charles Sims of Houston, though he will be in his final year of eligibility this season.
Aside from Sims, the Mountaineers currently have just two underclassmen running backs—one of which will fill the h-back or fullback role in the team's spread offense.
Ohio State currently shows three underclassmen on its roster at running back. Of the three, only sophomore Bri'onte Dunn has earned his way onto the field for the Buckeyes.
Shell is a very talented back out of Hopewell, Pa. At Hopewell High School, Shell set the Pennsylvania career rushing record with 9,078 yards.
In his freshman season at Pitt, Shell tallied 641 yards and four touchdowns while splitting time with the Panthers' star running back Ray Graham.
No matter where Shell ends up, he will undoubtedly challenge for time and make a serious on-field impact.