Among the headlining prospects that Clemson played host to during Saturday’s elite junior day was Matthews (N.C.) Weddington five-star Will Shipley, the nation’s top-ranked all-purpose back in the 2021 class.
Shipley (5-11, 200) visited Clemson twice this past season for the Texas A&M and Wake Forest games, but the junior day visit was different as it allowed him to fully experience another side of the school besides Death Valley.
“It was great,” Shipley told The Clemson Insider. “I really got a chance to go around and see campus, which is something I haven’t done. Kind of got to see the culture outside of game-day atmosphere and everything like that, so it was really good.”
One aspect of Saturday’s visit that Shipley enjoyed the most was simply interacting with the other top prospects on campus, especially the commits in Clemson’s 2021 class.
“I’d say that was probably one of the coolest parts was just being able to connect with them, being able to talk to the actual commits and see why they love it so much, why they committed early and kind of then cancelled all the other schools out,” he said. “So, it was great to be able to speak with them and some of the other big-time recruits.”
Of course, Shipley was also able to spend plenty of time with offensive coordinator/running backs coach Tony Elliott as well as his area recruiter for the Tigers, Danny Pearman.
“Just being able to speak to both of them was awesome, being able to develop that relationship,” Shipley said. “And then just hearing Coach Swinney speak to wrap up the junior day was great.”
Shipley previously visited Duke and North Carolina earlier this month along with NC State, where both of his parents went to college. He said he does not currently have any further visits scheduled but plans to make a couple more trips in March.
“I’m definitely going to take a couple here in the spring,” he said. “I haven’t solidified certain dates yet, but I’m definitely going to be making a couple more here in the springtime for some spring practices.”
Did Shipley’s visit to Clemson on Saturday change anything about where the Tigers stand in his recruitment?
“I really wouldn’t say it did,” he said. “It was great to be able to spend time with the coaches and get to see the campus. Before the visit, they were going to play a huge role in my recruitment, and it’s really at the same point. Clemson’s going to be at the top of it in the narrowed group. So, I think they kind of solidified it if anything.”
Shipley is the No. 1 all-purpose back and No. 21 overall prospect in the 2021 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
As a junior in 2019, Shipley rushed for 2,066 yards and 30 touchdowns on 188 carries (11.0 average). He also recorded 34 receptions for 582 yards and eight more scores through the air while leading Weddington to a 16-0 record and the Class 3AA state championship.
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