CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Will Shipley has been heavily recruited since his freshman year at Weddington. That means a lot of calls from coaches and recruiters and fans of programs wanting him to go to their schools. But with his commitment to Clemson, all of that ends and he is thrilled about that.
“When it was over with, it’s just so much weight lifted off your shoulders," said Shipley. “Coach (Andy) Capone and I have gone through this process for almost 3 years now. Just being able to spend a lot more time on my family, my friends, God-- all of that stuff, I will be able to put a lot more time into them. I am so glad to have found my home.”
But why Clemson? Especially since Clemson just signed a couple of four star RB in the class of 2020 and will be at the school a full year before Will. For Will, it’s about the culture and the competition.
“Clemson has not promised anything they can not promise,” said Shipley meaning, he knows he is not promised any playing time. He has to earn it. “I’m looking forward to going in there and competing my butt off and getting playing time early. I’m not afraid to compete. I’m very confident in my abilities and the things I have to offer.”
Of course, everyone is not happy with his decision to commit to the Tigers and the internet can be down right disrespectful at times. Will takes it all in stride but his head coach at Weddington has a message to all the disgruntled haters.
“Thank you for everyone that’s saying stuff about him because now he’s going to be more motivated than ever,” said Weddington head coach Andy Capone. “When I talked to him after he committed, he just said ' I feel like I had a weight taken off my shoulders.' If he has been playing with a weight on his shoulders the last couple of years, just imagine what he can do without it now."
Just as a reminder, Will was the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in 2019 as he had over 2 thousand yards rushing and over 500 yards receiving and 42 total touchdowns and led the Warriors to their 2nd straight state title. Will is certainly looking forward to his senior season, IF there is one due to the pandemic. Will has thought about the chances the season could get cancelled, but remains hopeful.
“Yeah, I have thought about it and it’s the worst scenario,” said Shipley. “I would absolutely hate it. Senior year is suppose to be the best one and I have looked forward to my senior season since I was a middle schooler. But I have the highest hopes. I’m always looking for the best so God willing everything goes right, we have a great senior season, 3 peat, and leave with the state championship.”
We all want this season to happen for many reasons, but a big one for Will besides getting a chance to 3 peat is a game between Vance and Weddington on September 11th. Both teams won state championships last year (Vance 4-AA & Weddington 3-AA) and it will put Shipley on the field against one of the best linebackers in state of North Carolina in Power Echols. Echols has also been named the North Carolina Defensive Player of the Year-- 2 years straight. He has verbally committed to North Carolina.
“It puts a smile on my face just thinking about it,” said Shipley. “Power Echols is such a great player. We have a lot of similar values. When Coach Capone told me he was looking and Vance had an opening, I couldn’t fall asleep that night. I’m very excited for it. God willing it happens. It’s going to be a very exciting week leading up to it. I’m sure it will be very crowded which always makes the game atmosphere better. It’s definitely one I have marked on my calendar.”