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Clemson Football

Clemson running back Will Shipley headed to NFL

January 3, 2024
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Clemson junior running back Will Shipley announced his intentions to enter the NFL Draft with a post on his Twitter account earlier this evening.

“Dear Clemson Family,
Thank you for everything! The decision to attend Clemson University is the best one I've ever made. My Clemson experience has provided me with lifelong benefits and friendships, a confidence to excel in anything I pursue and an appreciation for a standard of excellence.

I am grateful to my teammates, the best brothers I could ever ask for. You've challenged me, made me a better person, and given me memories that I will hold for a lifetime.

I am grateful to my coaches and support staff, the greatest mentors that God could have woven together.

I am grateful to the Clemson faithful who supported and cheered for me the last three years. Your
dedication, words, and messages built me up to fight harder than I ever thought I could fight.

I am grateful to my family who is my greatest fan club.
And I am grateful to my God who is my rock.

I have decided to enter my name into the 2024 NFL draft. I am grateful for the last three years and am excited to see what the future holds! Although I am taking the next step of my journey, I will always be a Clemson Tiger!”

Notes from Shipley’s Bio on ClemsonTigers.com

One of the nation’s most dynamic and versatile running backs who has 2,747 yards and 31 touchdowns on 526 career rushing attempts and 602 yards and two touchdowns on 85 career receptions in 1,526 offensive snaps over 36 career games (27 starts) … also credited with 34 career kickoff returns for 904 yards (26.6 avg.) as well as one pass attempt for a two-yard touchdown … made an instant impact as a freshman in 2021 and followed that campaign with a 2022 season in which he became the first player in ACC history to be selected as a first-team All-ACC honoree in three different categories (running back, all-purpose and specialist) and was one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award (nation’s most versatile player) … one of only three FBS players to record 1,200 all-purpose yards in all three seasons from 2021-23 (Kent State/Ball State’s Marquez Cooper and Buffalo’s Ron Cook Jr.) … joined Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard as the only ACC players to rush for 11 or more touchdowns in both their freshman and sophomore campaigns since 2000 … two-time All-ACC Academic Team selection and academic standout who in 2022 became Clemson’s first Academic All-American since 2012 and the first Clemson running back ever to earn the honor … became the ninth player in school history to score 30 career touchdowns and the eighth player at Clemson ever to rush for 30 touchdowns … community leader who in 2023 became a Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist and Clemson’s ninth all-time selection to the AFCA Good Works Team for his service and philanthropy … became the first Clemson scholarship player on record to graduate in three years with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

2023: Voted by his teammates as a permanent team captain … became the ninth member of the Clemson program all-time to earn AFCA Good Works Team honors, joining Robert Carswell (1999), Nick Eason (2000), Xavier Dye (2009), Deshaun Watson (2016), Sean Pollard (2018), Dabo Swinney (2019), Trevor Lawrence (2020) and Darien Rencher (2021) … Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist … third-team All-ACC selection by Phil Steele and College Football Network … CSC Academic All-District honoree … rushed 167 times for 827 yards with five touchdowns and caught 31 passes for 244 yards with two receiving touchdowns in 502 snaps over 12 games (eight starts) … also credited with seven kickoff returns for 200 yards … combined with Phil Mafah to form only Clemson’s fifth duo (and third running back duo excluding quarterbacks) to each eclipse 800 rushing yards in a single season since 1948, Clemson’s first pair of backs to accomplish the feat since “Thunder and Lightning” James Davis and C.J. Spiller in 2007 … Clemson was one of only six schools alongside Liberty, Louisville, San Jose State, UCLA and Virginia Tech to produce multiple 800-yard rushers,  and of that group, Clemson was one of only four to accomplish the feat with multiple running backs rather than one running back and one quarterback … rushed 17 times for 114 yards and caught a career-high-tying six passes for 29 yards with his first career receiving touchdown at Duke … surpassed both 2,000 career rushing yards and 3,000 career all-purpose yards in that performance at Duke … rushed nine times for 73 yards and caught three passes for 22 yards vs. Charleston Southern … rushed 10 times for 38 yards and added two catches for seven yards vs. Florida Atlantic … rushed 18 times for 67 yards with one touchdown and caught four passes for 38 yards and another touchdown through the air vs. No. 4 Florida State … moved into the Top 10 in school history in rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns with those scores against the Seminoles … Shipley rushed 18 times for 61 yards with a touchdown at Syracuse, becoming the ninth player in Clemson history ever to score 30 career touchdowns … rushed 19 times for 97 yards with a touchdown vs. Wake Forest … rushed 15 times for 44 yards at Miami (Fla.) … rushed six times for 21 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards at NC State prior to exiting the game in the first half with an injury … rushed 11 times for 77 yards with a touchdown and added three receptions for 30 receiving yards vs. Georgia Tech, joining Travis Etienne, James Davis, Travis Zachery, Wayne Gallman, Andre Ellington, C.J. Spiller and Lester Brown as the only players in school history to reach 30 career rushing touchdowns … earned team offensive player of the game honors when he produced his 10th career 100-yard rushing game against No. 20 North Carolina after he rushed 18 times for 126 yards with a touchdown and added two receptions for a career-high-tying 53 receiving yards for a season-high 179 all-purpose yards, in the process becoming the 10th player in Clemson history to reach 4,000 career all-purpose yards … rushed 15 times for 80 yards and caught four passes for 32 yards at South Carolina, passing Jacoby Ford (4,083) for ninth on Clemson’s all-time leaderboard for career all-purpose yards in the process … contributed 132 all-purpose yards in the Gator Bowl vs. Kentucky, including 94 a season-high kickoff return yards that included a vital season-long 60-yarder return during Clemson’s fourth-quarter comeback.

2022: Became the first player in ACC history to earn first-team all-conference honors at three different positions, collecting first-team honors in the running back, all-purpose and specialist categories … finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the nation’s most versatile player … first-team All-ACC as a running back and all-purpose selection according to the Associated Press … first-team All-ACC running back, per Phil Steele … CSC Second-Team Academic All-American, becoming Clemson’s first running back to earn Academic All-America status and becoming its first Academic All-American  at any position since center Dalton Freeman in 2012 … CSC Academic All-District selection … All-ACC Academic Team selection … second-team All-ACC running back selection by Pro Football Focus and College Football Network … Blanchard-Rogers Trophy finalist … named ESPN’s 40th-best player in college football for 2022 … rushed 210 times for 1,182 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 38 passes for 242 yards in 646 offensive snaps over 14 games (all starts) … also returned 14 kickoffs for 324 yards (23.1 avg.) … became the 27th ACC player since 2000 to record at least 11 rushing touchdowns in multiple seasons, but joined Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard as the only ACC players to accomplish the feat across their freshman and sophomore campaigns … his 15 rushing touchdowns were seventh-most in a season in Clemson history and his 1,182 rushing yards were the 11th-most in a season in program history … finished the year with 1,748 all-purpose yards (1,182 via rush, 242 via reception, 324 via kickoff return), the ninth-most in Clemson history … was the only player in the nation to record at least 1,150 rushing yards, at least 200 receiving yards and at least 300 kickoff return yards, joining Clemson’s C.J. Spiller (2009) as the only ACC players since 2000 to accomplish the feat … joined Kansas State’s Darren Sproles (2004), USC’s Reggie Bush (2005), Cal’s Jahvid Best (2008), Spiller (2009), Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah (2014), Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey (2015 and 2016), Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon (2016) and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley (2017) as the only Power Five players to hit those figures in every category in the last 20 seasons … his 646 offensive snaps were the fifth-most by a Clemson tailback all-time and the team’s most since Wayne Gallman’s 786 in 2016 … rushed 10 times for 42 yards with two touchdowns and caught a 14-yard pass at Georgia Tech … shared offensive player of the game honors after he added 68 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries vs. Furman, becoming the first Clemson player score multiple rushing touchdowns in each of the first two games of a season since Wesley McFadden in 1987 … rushed 12 times for a career-high 139 yards with two touchdowns vs. Louisiana Tech, becoming the first Clemson player in records back to 1950 to open a season with multiple rushing touchdowns in each of the first three games of a season … earned ACC Running Back of the Week and a Hornung Award honor roll selection for that contest, as his 11.6-yard average against Louisiana Tech made him the first Clemson player to average 10 yards per carry on at least 10 attempts since Travis Etienne in the 2020 ACC Championship Game against Notre Dame … rushed 20 times for 104 yards with a touchdown at No. 21 Wake Forest to earn a Hornung Award Honor Roll spot, in the process tying Kenny Flowers (seven consecutive games in 1985) and Travis Etienne (seven-game streaks in 2018 and 2020) for the sixth-longest streak of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown in Clemson history … rushed 14 times for 60 yards and caught three passes for 37 yards vs. No. 10 NC State … added 33 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and caught an eight-yard pass at Boston College … named ACC Running Back of the Week, team offensive and co-special teams player of the game and a Hornung Award Honor Roll selection after he recorded a then-career-high 238 all-purpose yards at Florida State (121 rushing yards on 20 carries, 48 receiving yards on six receptions and a 69-yard kickoff return), the highest all-purpose yardage total by a Clemson player since Travis Etienne’s 264 against Boston College in 2020 … repeated as ACC Running Back of the Week and earned a Hornung Award Honor Roll spot after he rushed for a career-high 172 yards on a career-high 27 carries with two rushing touchdowns and finished with a career-high 242 all-purpose yards vs. No. 14 Syracuse; also collected Doak Walker Award National Running Back of the Week for his performance in that game … rushed 12 times for 63 yards with a touchdown and caught five passes for 17 yards at Notre Dame  … rushed 19 times for 97 yards vs. Louisville including a highlight-reel 25-yard touchdown run in which he hurdled a defender and bounced off two more en route to the end zone for his single-season career-high 12th rushing touchdown of the season … rushed 17 times for 61 yards with a touchdown vs. Miami (Fla.) … gained 132 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown vs. South Carolina to reach the 1,000-yard mark on the ground, the 23rd such season in Clemson history … rushed seven times for 18 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 26 yards vs. No. 24 North Carolina … gained 72 yards on 17 carries and 21 yards on four receptions in the Orange Bowl vs. No. 6 Tennessee.

2021: Second-team Freshman All-American according to The Athletic … fourth-team All-ACC pick by Phil Steele … All-ACC Academic Team selection, Clemson’s first true freshman to earn the honor since Trevor Lawrence in 2018 … rushed 149 times for 738 yards (5.0 avg.) with 11 touchdowns, caught 16 passes for 116 yards, averaged 27.1 yards on 14 kickoff returns and threw a two-yard touchdown pass in 378 snaps over 10 games (five starts) … his 11 rushing touchdowns were second-most by a Clemson true freshman since the NCAA instituted permanent freshman eligibility in 1972, trailing only Travis Etienne’s 13 in 2017 … joined Etienne (four in 2017) as the only Clemson true freshmen since 2000 with four multi-touchdown rushing games … posted three 100-yard rushing games, the most by a Clemson true freshman since C.J. Spiller’s five in 2006 … became the first Clemson player other than Etienne or Wayne Gallman to lead Clemson in rushing since 2013 (Rod McDowell), when Shipley was in fifth grade …finished with Clemson’s highest kickoff return average (27.1) in a season among qualified players since Spiller in 2009 (32.8) … three-time ACC Rookie of the Week, Clemson’s first three-time recipient since Trevor Lawrence (four in 2018) … rushed four times for seven yards, caught an 11-yard pass and returned one kickoff 18 yards vs. No. 5 Georgia … rushed for team-high 80 rushing yards on eight carries with two touchdowns vs. SC State, becoming the first Clemson true freshman with multiple rushing touchdowns in a game since his teammate, Lyn-J Dixon, rushed for two touchdowns at Wake Forest in 2018 … won ACC Rookie of the Week and shared team offensive player of the game honors for that performance against SC State … recorded career highs in rushing attempts (21) and rushing yards (88) and tied his career high with two rushing touchdowns vs. Georgia Tech, repeating as ACC Rookie of the Week and team offensive payer of the game … became the first Clemson true freshman with multiple rushing touchdowns in consecutive games since Travis Etienne accomplished the feat against Florida State and The Citadel in 2017 … rushed for a five-yard touchdown among his 11 carries for 36 yards at NC State, becoming the first Clemson true freshman with a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games since Travis Etienne’s four-game streak late in the 2017 season … returned from a leg injury at No. 23 Pitt, totaling 164 all-purpose yards with 10 carries for 52 rushing yards, one catch for five yards and four kickoff returns for 107 yards, sharing team special teams player of the game honors … earned a Hornung Award honor roll selection and team offensive player of the game honors after he rushed for 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries vs. Florida State, the first 100-yard rushing performance by a Clemson true freshman since 2018 (Lyn-J Dixon against Louisville) … added 142 all-purpose yards at Louisville with 47 rushing yards on 14 carries and 95 kickoff return yards, including a 75-yard kickoff return — Clemson’s longest since a 77-yard return by Artavis Scott against Louisville in 2016 — to share team special teams player of the game honors … earned ACC Co-Rookie of the Week after recording 111 rushing yards on 19 carries with two rushing touchdowns and also throwing for a touchdown vs. No. 13 Wake Forest, tying Travis Etienne (four in 2017) for the most games with multiple rushing touchdowns by a Clemson true freshman since 2000 … his two-yard touchdown pass against Wake Forest was the first by a Clemson non-quarterback since Sammy Watkins’ 52-yard touchdown pass to Andre Ellington at Florida State in 2012, as he became the first Clemson non-quarterback to both rush for a touchdown and throw for a touchdown since C.J. Spiller — his position coach — did so at NC State in 2009 … earned team offensive player of the game honors after rushing 19 times for a career-high-tying 128 yards and a touchdown at South Carolina, making him the first Clemson true freshman with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Spiller in 2006 … rushed for a team-high 61 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and caught five passes for 53 yards vs. Iowa State … the rushing touchdown moved him past Spiller (10 in 2006) for the second-most rushing touchdowns by a Clemson true freshman since 1972.

Before Clemson: Ranked as five-star prospect by 247Sports and as a high four-star by ESPN.com and Rivals.com … ranked as the No. 21 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, which also listed him as the second-best running back in the nation and second-best player from North Carolina … rated as the No. 1 all purpose running back and No. 45 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com… ranked No. 52 by 247Sports, the nation’s best all-purpose back and third-best player in North Carolina … PrepStar five-star recruit and Top 150 Dream Team selection who ranked as the nation’s No. 19 recruit, including the No. 2 running back prospect and top player in North Carolina … invited to play in the Under Armour All-America Game … Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina and Charlotte Observer Player of the Year for 2019 … led his 2019 team to a 16-0 record and the state 3A title … MVP of the 2019 state championship game when he rushed for 256 yards and scored four touchdowns in a win over Lee County for his program’s second straight state title … three-time all-conference and all-county selection who was also a two-time all-state selection and two-time MaxPreps All-American … did not have a 2020 high school season due to the COVID-19 pandemic … rushed for 4,173 yards on 503 carries (8.3 yards per rush) in his three-year high school career … had 1,411 receiving yards on 84 catches for a 16.8-yard average … scored 80 touchdowns in his career — 55 rushing, 23 receiving and two on defense … had an incredible 2019 season when he had 2,066 yards rushing on just 188 carries (11.0 yards per rush) and scored 31 rushing touchdowns … also had 34 catches for 582 yards and nine receiving touchdowns in 2019 … had 42 touchdowns that year, including 31 rushing, nine receiving and two on defense … as a sophomore in 2018, posted 1,417 yards rushing on 206 carries and scored 19 touchdowns … added 31 catches for 406 yards and six receiving touchdowns … added 49 tackles and two interceptions on defense … as a freshman, had 84 tackles and two interceptions … contributed 690 rushing yard and five rushing touchdowns on 109 carries, as well as 19 catches for 423 yards and eight receiving touchdowns, in his freshman campaign … also an outstanding lacrosse athlete who received college offers for that sport as well … scored 49 goals and had 59 assists in 38 career games … had 29 goals and 33 assists in 21 games in 2017 … helped his team to a pair of state lacrosse titles … won the state championship in 55 meters in the only year he ran indoor track, recording a time of 6.36 in the 55 meters  … committed to Clemson on May 5, 2020 … recruited by Danny Pearman and Tony Elliott … played for Andy Capone at Weddington High School … straight-A student in high school.

Personal: Earned degree in management in December 2023 after enrolling at Clemson in January 2021 … completed his undergraduate degree with a perfect 4.0 GPA … born Aug. 29, 2002 … his brother, James, played lacrosse at Penn from 2020-23 and was a second-team All-Ivy League selection in 2022 … completed a microinternship at National Football League headquarters in New York in spring 2022 … fundraised and presented a $10,000 check in May 2022 to Levine Children’s Hospital in his home metro area of Charlotte … along with K.J. Henry, donated five figures to create the 1 CLEM5ON endowment in November 2022 to benefit Clemson University’s Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center and Clemson Athletics’ “Hear Her Roar” campaign … two-time ACC Honor Roll selection (2021-22).

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Clemson running back Will Shipley headed to NFL

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