Ranking the Contenders: Will Shipley
Top-ranked all-purpose back Will Shipley has been a big name in the recruiting world for a couple years now and the multi-sport athlete was getting pretty close to committing before the coronavirus pandemic and recruiting dead period. The North Carolina native was set to visit Clemson, Notre Dame, Stanford, North Carolina and NC State, but those plans are on hold right now. A commitment from Shipley was expected to come a couple weeks from now, but those plans are also up in the air since he wasn’t able to take those visits.
Shipley is hesitant to name a leader in his recruitment, but here is a look at the teams that have the best chance at landing him.
The Tigers made Shipley a priority in this class and there is a general feeling that they could get his commitment if he were to commit before he takes more visits. Clemson wants to solidify the future of its backfield with a versatile back like Shipley, something Dabo Swinney’s teams have featured since C.J. Spiller suited up for the Tigers about 10 years ago.
Shipley has built plenty of strong relationships with the coaching staff and players, and he knows he could have success there. Look for Shipley to eventually make it back to Clemson for a visit once the recruiting dead period ends. Playing fairly close to home is also another benefit Clemson has over the next team on this list.
2. NOTRE DAME
The Fighting Irish seemed to have some momentum with Shipley prior to the recruiting dead period, and expectations going into his previously planned visit were high. That visit obviously hasn’t happened, but that won’t stop Notre Dame from leaning on Shipley.
The Irish's biggest weapon in the pursuit of Shipley is running backs coach Lance Taylor and his track record of developing outstanding running backs such as Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. Shipley looks up to McCaffrey, and the two talk fairly often. Turning out to be a back like McCaffrey is a dream of Shipley’s.
3. NORTH CAROLINA
Why are the Tar Heels ranked ahead of NC State for a Wolfpack legacy? It has a lot to do with how close Shipley is with the playmakers the Tar Heels are bringing in and the momentum the program has on the field. Both of Shipley’s parents went to NC State, but being able to play with prospects like Rivals250 quarterback Drake Maye and receiver Gavin Blackwell is intriguing for Shipley because they are good friends. The longer Shipley’s recruitment lasts, the better for Mack Brown and his coaching staff.
4. N.C. STATE
The Wolfpack will always be a contender for Shipley because of all the connections he and his family have to the school. The coaching staff has been all over him since the very beginning of his recruitment and its hosted Shipley and his family so many times they can probably draw a map of the campus just off memory. NC State needs Shipley’s recruitment to last as long as possible and show a lot of positive momentum on the field to get him to shift his focus back to the Wolfpack.