Donnie Shell, a Rock Hill resident, to be in 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame

Donnie Shell, a Rock Hill resident, to be in 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame
Donnie Shell, a Rock Hill resident and the formidable safety on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “steel curtain” defense in the 1970s, is a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2020 class, the organization announced Wednesday. (Source: Rock Hill Herald File Photo)

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - Rock Hill has another connection to the NFL’s most elite club.

Donnie Shell, a Rock Hill resident and the formidable safety on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “steel curtain” defense in the 1970s, is a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2020 class, the organization announced Wednesday.

Shell maintains the record for career interceptions as a strong safety, with 51, and, with the announcement, becomes the fifth Hall of Famer from the 1974 Steelers rookie class. He won four Super Bowls, made five Pro Bowls and was selected to be a part of the Steelers’ All-Time Team.

Shell grew up in Whitmire, S.C., and played for South Carolina State University. He signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 1974 and played 13 years in Pittsburgh before retiring.

His playing days over, Shell became the director of the Carolina Panthers’ player development program for 15 years, which is when he moved to Rock Hill. Shell’s son, Donnie, played as an offensive tackle at Rock Hill High School in the early 2000s.

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