Shell's HOF presenter is all in the family

Donnie Shell was scheduled to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame for a site visit on April 15 in advance of his enshrinement in the fall.

But like everything else, that visit was canceled, now turned into a virtual visit where he will get all of the details he needs, minus seeing everything in person.

There is one thing that isn't on hold, though, and that is Shell announcing who will present him when he is enshrined on Friday, Sept. 18 as a part of the Hall of Fame Centennial Celebration.

It will be his oldest daughter, April Shell, who is the principal at Summit Parkway Middle School in South Carolina.

"None of my kids remember when I played, so they are going to give a different perspective about me," said Shell. "Everyone knows me as Donnie 'Torpedo' Shell, a four-time Super Bowl champion. All of the fans know me as that. We are more than just football players. They will see I am a dad and a role model to my children. She will give a different perspective of me to Steelers Nation and the fans of the National Football League. As I was praying about it, I felt good about getting her involved. What she is going to do is collaborate with her siblings, Donnie and Dawn, and they are going to talk about me and what they want to do and how she is going to present it. She is going to do the presentation from that input."

Shell admits the decision wasn't an easy one, as everyone was offering suggestions as to who he should select, and he didn't want anyone to feel slighted.

"It was tough," said Shell. "It was a tough decision. That is why I wanted to pray about it. Once I got a clear idea in my quiet time, my prayer time, it was to be about my family. I knew April would be a good presenter. Her siblings agreed with the choice."

April Shell said she will get input from her siblings, Dawn and Donnie, on what she is going to say and is excited and honored to represent the family.

"I told him I've got your back pops, I got you," said April Shell. "When he told me, I knew it was a big stage. It's an honor to present him as others see him, but the other side of it, him being a dad and how he encouraged us all of our lives to be who we are. I will give a snippet of how it was.

"It's exciting. It's encouraging to get that out there, because that story isn't told. It's always the Super Bowls, what he has accomplished. But him just being dad, that story hasn't been told yet.

"It's my dad. I am used to singing his praises. I am not nervous. I am a principal at a middle school, so I get in front of people. But this will be a bigger stage. It's okay. I am really all right. I am really proud to do it."

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