Summer 2024

Will Shipley, nation’s No. 1 all-purpose back, thanks God in committing to Clemson

The pressure is off for four-star prospect Will Shipley. On Tuesday, the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose back in the class of 2021 (according to verbally committed to Clemson, thanking God in his announcement.

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It was down to Clemson, Notre Dame, Stanford, North Carolina and North Carolina State for the speedster out of Weddington High School in Matthews, N.C., but he said Clemson just felt right.

“Looking back and putting this in God’s hands, He showed me what I needed to see,” Shipley told “Clemson, in my mind, is no question the place that I need to be at.”

In a slickly-produced video announcing his decision, Shipley thanked those in his circle for getting him to where he is athletically, and once again pointed to God for his strength.

“This is about all the people that have helped me become the person that I am today,” he said. “I wouldn’t be who I am without my family. I wouldn’t be who I am without my coaches, teammates, and trainers. Most importantly, I wouldn’t be who I am today without God and the guidance that He has given me throughout my life.”

Shipley is known for his speed and has already drawn comparisons to Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. As a junior, Shipley tallied a whopping 2,066 rushing yards to go along with 582 receiving yards and scored 42 total touchdowns.

A four-star prospect according to, Shipley joins a Clemson class that boasts 10 four-star commits and is currently ranked third behind Ohio State and Tennessee in the Class of 2021 team recruiting rankings. He’s also ranked No. 2 among running backs in the ESPN 300 for 2021.

“Will’s always been super fast,” his mother Tammy said in the video. “I mean, he could always fly. From the time I remember him just being able to walk, he was always running. He was either running, jumping over something, climbing up stairs. His little legs were going so fast. It was the best feeling just to see him fly across that line.”

He’ll head to Clemson and play for a coach in Dabo Swinney who, like Shipley, isn’t shy about his faith. On plenty of occasions following big wins, Swinney has given God the glory.

“To get to do it once and then get to do it again, it’s a blessing,” Swinney told ESPN following his second national championship with Clemson in 2019. “It’s just simply the grace of the good Lord to allow us experience something like this. … All the credit, all the glory goes to the good Lord — No. 1. And No. 2, to these young people.”

Shipley’s father, James, said Will is ready for the challenge that awaits him at Clemson.

“I can tell you nobody will work harder than he will from a workout perspective to be the best he can be,” he said. “I think he can be very powerful on Saturdays in college football and I even think he can be powerful on Sundays in the NFL.”

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