Before being a five star, and long before being a Clemson clerk, Will shipley was a nervous junior who climbed to Dabo Swinney football camp with the Tigers head coach on the side, staring at him as he was about to exercise.
“Coach Swinney stops in his golf cart and sits there watching me for 20 minutes,” said Shipley. ” I am scared! I do not know what to do. ”
And by that time, Shipley had already helped Matthews (NC) Weddington to win a state championship and his offer list included Florida, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Georgia, Tennessee and Oregon, among others. Shipley had therefore already shone in great moments.
But it was Clemson and it was Swinney hovering nearby.
Shipley wanted it so badly. Since his first experience on the Clemson campus for this same Dabo Swinney last year’s camp, he wanted that offer and now was the time for him to clutch and perform.
“I’m nervous,” continued Shipley. “He is without doubt the best coach in university football. “
Camp has started and arguably the best runner in the 2021 class at Shipley sets up.
“I do my thing really well in all of the exercises,” said Shipley.
Swinney moves on, Shipley continues his fieldwork. At the end of the camp, Shipley and his mother are called to Swinney’s office.
“He said how impressed he was with my performance at the camp, but not only he was impressed with the person I’m off the field and that’s when he told me that ‘He was offering a scholarship,’ said Shipley. “One of the best feelings ever. “
That moment in July 2019 was just as sweet as the moment Shipley had on Monday when he told Swinney and his company that he was signing up for the Tigers. The No. 1 all-rounder in the 247Sports Composite also highly regarded Notre Dame, Stanford, Duke, the state of North Carolina and North Carolina.
“It was unbelievable,” said Shipley, who released his plans to play for ACC power Tuesday afternoon. “It’s fair to finally know where I’m going and where my house is.
“I said to Coach Swinney, Coach (Tony) Elliott and Coach (Danny) Pearman, really the three guys who played a big part in my recruiting process and everyone was so happy for me. Huge smiles on their faces, to make them so excited that it really made it a special moment for me. “
Shipley said going to Clemson was always on his mind since he camped before his second year. He was the first Swinney ball carrier offered in the 2021 cycle and ultimately the two winning offers are now engaged when Shipley joins Phil Mafah as part of a class ranked # 4 nationally by the 247Sports Composite.
“I have always had this feeling since I entered campus,” said Shipley. “The culture that Dabo Swinney created the relationship with the coaches, I think in the back of my mind I knew it was at home. These other programs have done a great job and I will treasure the relationships I have created with them for the rest of my life, but I am happy to be a tiger. ”
Designated by the 247Sports Composite as the country’s No. 24, whatever its position, the Shipley of 5 feet 11 inches and 198 pounds is the Gatorade player of the year in title for its condition after having used its speed of 4, 46 laser timed in 40-yard dash (The Opening Regional) to rush for 2,066 yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior with 582 more yards and eight other scores en route to a second consecutive state championship.
With the junior campaign behind him, Shipley was ready to make his decision in college. A day trip to Clemson in January made the Tigers extremely difficult to beat from that point on.
“I really saw it all,” said Shipley. “I have to sit with coach Elliott and do whatever I need to see in Clemson. The other pledges to be there with their families, given the caliber of people, it seemed to me that I integrated so well and it was a place that has fun and that succeeds very well. “
With this however, Shipley did not want to stop the process. He had excellent relationships in other schools and wanted to make a wave of visits elsewhere in the spring.
“I had to know that Clemson was the right place for me,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave balls on the table, especially with Clemson not having the rule of not visiting after your engagement, which, I think, is such a good thing to implement. I had to make sure it was the right place for me and I was not making a premature decision. ”
It wasn’t the closeness, it was the ambiance and the people that made Clemson the next stop for Shipley. So were expectations, with Swinney telling Shipley and the other campus recruits in January that he wanted Clemson’s next 10 years of football to be the best 10 years of any program.
“It really hit me and resonated with me,” said Shipley. “I’m about to do three laps this coming year. I used to win and at Clemson University they win.
“The culture of the program, going there, spending time with the players, they are all so authentic. Just to talk to the commits, we are so excited about our future together and I am passionate about Clemson being my home. ”