Five-star running back Will Shipley (5-11 198) of Matthews, NC Wednesday announced a commitment to Clemson over Notre Dame. Shipley had a national offer list that also includes USC, Stanford, Ohio State, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Southern Cal and Wisconsin. He is ranked the #1 all-purpose back in the country and the #1 prospect in North Carolina.
Shipley will give the Tigers a multi-talented weapon on offense. Last season he rushed for 2066 yards and 30 touchdowns, and he caught 34 passes for 582 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The Tigers were later than most of the others in offering Shipley and had already taken a running back commitment in Phil Mafah. But running backs coach Tony Elliott, who had Shipley in camp last summer, made it clear to Shipley that he was a priority and someone he and Dabo Swinney wanted in the program. The opportunity was too much for Shipley to pass on.
“National champions. Great atmosphere. Everything they do. The type of players they generate on and off the field,” Shipley said. “It’s an awesome place. It’s got everything you can ask for. The people who make up Clemson and the culture, you don’t get that anywhere else. It’s almost impossible to say no to Dabo and Coach Elliott. They’re great coaches and I have great relationships with them. I have no question in my mind that Clemson is the right spot for my family and me.”
Shipley went to a pair of games at Clemson last season, Texas A&M and Wake Forest. He got a good look at how Elliott uses his guys, and he sees a good fit for him.
“I can see myself In that offense, being put all over the field and getting the ball many ways,” Shipley said. “Coach Swinney told me that I was a great fit for the program. He said that I was a fit for the family atmosphere that they have.”
Shipley is primarily compared to Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey who has blossomed into one of the most versatile and exciting players in the NFL. He plans to bring the same to the Clemson offense.
“Just versatility to make it a little harder on the defensive coordinators to be able to game plan,” he said. “I’m not a one-dimensional back. I’m not just going to run the ball 20 times up the center’s butt, I’m going to be able to be split out and get mismatches with linebackers and things like that.”
Shipley is Clemson’s 10th commitment for the 2021 class, and the first five-star rated prospect in the 247Sports Composite. The other nine are all four star prospects. He also gives Clemson three commitments ranked as the #1 player in the country at their respective position joining TE Jake Briningstool and ILB Jeremiah Trotter.
Shipley’s commitment video