It’s funny how things work out.
Will Shipley is a native of North Carolina and starred at Weddington High School in Weddington, N.C. Both of his parents went to NC State, as did many other family members.
This Saturday, the Clemson freshman running back will get his first college start against the school his family has ties to, when the ninth-ranked Tigers travel to take on the Wolfpack at 3:30 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.
“That’s kind of cool how it worked out,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his post-practice media availability via Zoom on Wednesday evening. “Certainly no idea how that’s going to go. But he’s had back-to-back weeks he’s been our player of the game and has earned the opportunity to start – it just happened to be this week.”
Shipley ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries in Clemson’s 14-8 victory against Georgia Tech last Saturday, a week after toting the rock eight times for 80 yards and two scores in the Tigers’ romp over South Carolina State.
The last time Shipley played at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium, he earned MVP honors after rushing for 256 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries while leading Weddington to its second straight N.C. 3AA state title with a 34-14 win over Lee County.
While Clemson and Notre Dame were the finalists in Shipley’s recruitment, NC State was also heavily involved with the former five-star prospect during the recruiting process.
“I knew there was ties there when that started,” Swinney said of NC State and Shipley’s recruitment. “I think it came down to us and Notre Dame in his recruiting process. But happy for him to have the opportunity to get his first start up there.”
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