ESPN handed out superlatives for college football’s 2021 recruiting class, and a talented Clemson freshman running back earned one of the superlatives from the four-letter network.
In this ESPN+ article, ESPN staff writer Craig Haubert recognized the Tigers’ Will Shipley as the “most well-rounded” running back in this year’s freshman class.
“The No. 2-ranked RB in the 2021 class, Shipley is a dangerous weapon with his versatility to attack defenses in multiple ways,” Haubert wrote. “As a ball carrier, he has excellent speed (4.53 laser-to-laser 40) as well as quick feet to hit holes, elude defenders and finish when he gets into the open field.
“Shipley can also be a threat out of the backfield as a pass-catcher with good hands as well as leaping ability. Over three high school seasons, he rushed for over 4,000 yards, totaled nearly 1,500 receiving yards and recorded a combined 88 touchdowns.”
Haubert went on to explain how he sees Shipley fitting into Clemson’s offense in his first year as part of the team.
“Clemson has lost a key contributor from their offensive attack with Travis Etienne Jr. moving on as he was not only their leading rusher, but also among their leader in receptions,” Haubert wrote. “Shipley is an outstanding candidate though to replace that production lost and should become a player for Tigers offense that is very much in the same mold as Etienne.”
During his career at Weddington High School (Matthews, N.C.), Shipley rushed for 4,173 yards on 503 carries (8.3 yards per rush) and racked up 1,411 receiving yards on 84 catches (16.8-yard average), while scoring 80 total touchdowns (55 rushing, 23 receiving and two on defense).
The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder was named Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina in 2019 and led Weddington to back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019.