Matthews (N.C.) Weddington four-star Will Shipley is the recipient of Clemson’s first offer to a running back in the 2021 class.
Shipley, who is ranked as the No. 1 all-purpose back in his class, waited until Wednesday to announce the news per the request of running backs coach Tony Elliott. But he actually received the offer from Dabo Swinney in June after camping at Clemson for the second consecutive summer.
“It was incredible,” Shipley told The Clemson Insider. “Just even being able to talk to Coach Swinney, he’s easily one of the best coaches in college football. So just being able to sit down in his office and speak with him – much less get an offer from him – it was something I can’t even put words into.”
As a sophomore last season, Shipley totaled 1,417 yards rushing on 206 carries (6.9 average) with 19 rushing touchdowns. He also logged 393 yards receiving and six touchdown receptions.
Swinney has said in the past that no one on his staff is stingier with a scholarship offer than Elliott is with running backs.
So why did the Tigers feel Shipley is worthy of an offer?
“They said they just think my family and I just fit into their system,” he said. “They love my football style and how I play the game, how quick my feet are and how physical I am. And they think I fit in as a person, not just as a player.”
Clemson joins NC State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Northwestern, Georgia, Penn State, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and a slew of other schools on Shipley’s offer sheet.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder says the new offer from the Tigers “definitely does” impact his recruitment.
“It’s hard not to look at Clemson and be intrigued, just with how successful they are – not only winning games, but also creating a football player off the field,” he said. “They’ve produced really great kids. So, just to have an opportunity to be included in their program, knowing that Coach Swinney has enough trust and likes me enough to give me an opportunity, it really does mean the world.”
Shipley mentioned Notre Dame, Stanford, Northwestern, UNC, NC State, Duke, Virginia and South Carolina as some of the schools he is looking to visit during the upcoming college football season.
He is also planning to see a game at Death Valley this fall and can’t wait to witness the game-day atmosphere in person.
“I’ve heard some great things, so I’m really looking forward to that,” he said. “And then just seeing Coach Elliott and some of the other coaches on game day and how they’re acting… I think that’s also a thing that you really have to look closely at, is how these coaches coach, because each coach has a different coaching style. So, those are two things that I’m definitely going to be looking into, and hopefully I come out thinking those two things are great.”
Both of Shipley’s parents are NC State alums, and the Wolfpack are certainly a factor in his recruitment. With that said, Shipley says his decision will not be based on where his parents went to school but rather on where he feels is the best place for him to attend.
Shipley has stated his intention to narrow down his recruitment before his junior season, and the Tigers are a lock to be on his short list.
“It’s definitely high up,” he said of where Clemson stands. “They’re a school that, when I narrow down my list, they’re definitely going to be on it. So, I don’t really have a number (of top schools), like one or eight or something like that. It’s just I can tell you that they’re definitely going to play a big role in my recruitment, and I really look forward to getting to know more about them.”
Shipley is ranked as the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country for the 2021 class by both 247Sports and Rivals. 247Sports tabs him as the No. 45 overall prospect in the next cycle regardless of position, while he checks in at No. 57 overall per Rivals.