CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Clemson Insider made a Tour of Champions stop at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte on Friday night to see five-star prospect and Clemson target Will Shipley of Weddington High School (Matthews, N.C.) in action.
Shipley, the No. 1-ranked all-purpose back in the nation for the 2021 class, caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter and then ran for a touchdown in the second quarter of Weddington’s eventual 42-0 rout over South Meck.
After the game, The Clemson Insider caught up with Shipley, who will be among the marquee recruits in attendance for top-ranked Clemson’s matchup with No. 12 Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon at Death Valley.
“It’s going to be incredible,” Shipley said. “We’re actually heading up tonight (Friday night) right after the game. We’re going to get up there in the morning. I’m going to get to spend some time with Coach (Danny) Pearman, Coach (Tony) Elliott and some of the other recruits, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the atmosphere and everything.”
Shipley has visited Clemson before – most recently to compete at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June – but hasn’t been able to experience a game environment in Death Valley, yet.
“I’ve heard great things about the atmosphere,” he said. “So, I’m really looking forward to that, just kind of seeing what Death Valley is all like, and just getting to talk to some more coaches and see the players.”
In July, Shipley received Clemson’s first offer to a running back in the 2021 class, to go with offers from NC State, Stanford, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida and Penn State among many other schools.
The highly sought-after prospect has a plan for when he wants to cut down his list and ultimately make his decision.
“I’m going to take this season, really focus on football and try to win another state championship,” he said. “Then I’m going to sit down with my family and really talk things through and see what I’m thinking, narrow it down and then hopefully (commit) before next summer.”
Both of Shipley’s parents graduated from NC State, and while they would be thrilled to see him follow in their footsteps, Shipley says they’re not pressuring him.
“They just want me to be happy wherever I end up,” he said. “They want the best fit for me. Obviously they’d like to see me in red, just being alums, but they’ve never tried to influence me or push me one way or another. They really just want to see a smile on my face.”
When Shipley looks at Clemson as one of his college options, he sees a lot of pros and no cons.
“It’s got everything you could ask for in a college,” he said. “It’s got a great football team, great coaches, great relationships, good academics – I could keep going on with the list. So, there’s really nothing bad about it at this point. If I did choose Clemson, then I couldn’t be making a wrong decision.”
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