ACC

Clemson makes move with top running back out of North Carolina

South Carolina has long had affection for Matthews, North Carolina running back Will Shipley (5-foot-11, 198 pounds). The Gamecocks were one of his first offers and he has visited four times, five if you include competing in a 7-on-7 tournament on campus. And, he also visited a Gamecock practice in Charlotte prior to the Belk Bowl. So, the Gamecocks have a prominent position in his recruiting.

And now, so does Clemson. The Tigers offered Shipley Wednesday night during a phone call with running backs coach Tony Elliott.

“It’s huge in my recruitment,” Shipley said. “National champions. Great atmosphere. Everything they do. The type of players they generate on and off the field. It’s kind of hard to look at it and say, I don’t want to take a look at that. They are going to play a vital role in my recruitment.”

Shipley camped at Clemson in June and was one of the impressive offensive performers there. That caught Elliott’s attention and the interest has grown from there. The two have talked a good bit but there hasn’t been a lot of football discussed between the two.

“Coach Elliott, we haven’t talked too much about how I would fit into the offense and that type of stuff,” Shipley said. “We’ve talked about the type of person I am. He recruits certain types of kids. Obviously, I can play football. I’m a pretty a good football player. I wouldn’t even be in this decision if that weren’t. He just likes me and my family as people.”

Shipley has also remained in touch with USC running backs coach Thomas Brown. There most recent conversation was earlier this week.

“He likes how physical I am as a back my size,” Shipley said. “He likes how physical I am, how versatile I am. I’m not the type of running back who has to stay between the tackles or go outside, I can kind of do both. That’s the way he likes me.”

Shipley has had a lot of exposure to the Gamecocks and Will Muschamp, and he’s found a lot to like there as well.

“I love the vibe at South Carolina, everything they’re doing,” Shipley said. “The recruiting class they’re bringing in. Coach Muschamp and the family feel that he has surrounding the program. I love the Gamecocks and I love the atmosphere. I’m looking forward to getting back for a game this season.”

Shipley has not compiled a short list of favorites, but he said along with Clemson and USC, he’s getting the strongest recruiting interest right now from NC State, Duke, North Carolina, Northwestern, Stanford, Notre Dame, Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan. Shipley is also an excellent student and that side of college life will play a big role in his decision.

“Academics will affect the ability for a school to come on or drop off my list,” he said. “And that family environment feel. There’s going to be a lot of factors that go into it but academics will play a huge role.”

Shipley also has visited Northwestern, Stanford, North Carolina, Duke and NC State.

Last season he rushed for 1,450 yards and 19 touchdowns and had 450 receiving yards with seven touchdowns.

Note:

Charlotte 2021 quarterback Drake Maye committed to Alabama. His dad played football and his brother played basketball at UNC. He also has offers from Clemson and USC.

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