All-purpose back chooses Clemson instead of Ohio State


By Stephen Means - Advance Ohio Media



COLUMBUS — North Carolina native Will Shipley of Weddington High School has committed to Clemson.

The five-star recruit is rated as the No. 24 overall player and top all-purpose back in the class. He marks the first commitment for the Tigers since their early surge in January that allowed them to take over the top spot in the recruiting rankings for a short time. Since then, they have lost the nation’s top player in California defensive end Korey Foreman who reportedly wanted to be closer to home. In Shipley, they once again have a commitment from a five-star player.

Shipley served as one of a handful of potential high-level running back targets for Ohio State. As a junior, he led the Warriors to a 3AA State Championship and a 16-0 record while running for 2,066 yards and 30 touchdowns along with 582 receiving yards and eight scores. He also completed four of five passes for 10 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite the Buckeyes’ need for a high-level running back, Shipley projected out to be more of an H-Back calling himself a mixture of what Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill brought to the table as Buckeyes. Shipley’s talent is apparent, but it just didn’t fit into the concept of what OSU needed in the running back room.

Ohio State has since added five-star Virginia native TreVeyon Henderson and four-star Evan Pryor — also from North Carolina — to the class. The two committed within 11 days of each other and are a portion of what is currently the top-ranked 2021 recruiting class, and potentially challenging some of the highest-rated classes of all time.

Shipley’s commitment moves Clemson’s 2021 recruiting class back up to No. 4 in the recruiting rankings ahead of Florida. Tennessee — who’s gone on its own run of commits including IMG Academy’s Kamar Wilcoxson — sits at No. 2 while North Carolina comes in at No. 3. Shipley gives head coach Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff 10 commits and first from North Carolina.

The Buckeyes (11) are the only team with more commits from top 100 players than Clemson’s six.

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By Stephen Means

Advance Ohio Media

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