Will Shipley Jr.
- Position: RB
- School: Clemson
- Year: Jr.
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 205
- 40-Time: TBD
- Vertical: TBD
- Broad: TBD
- 3-Cone: TBD
- 225 Bench: TBD
Enters 2023 season with 19 career starts … First-team All-ACC (2022) at three positions (RB, all-purpose, specialist) and Paul Hornung finalist (nation’s most versatile player) … 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 … Second team Freshman All-American in 2021 (The Athletic) … Highly-rated high school recruit (5 stars, 247 Sports; 4 stars, ESPN) … Rated No. 1 all-purpose running back by Rivals during his recruiting year … played high school lacrosse and ran indoor track.
Physically, Shipley is a well-proportioned 200-pounder with good muscle mass. His body type is similar to Jahmyr Gibbs (Lions). Athletically, Shipley flashes good burst and second-level speed but he lacks a third gear to consistently run away from safeties. He possesses above average lateral agility and doesn’t lose much speed when cutting and changing directions. Shipley has more initial burst than field-flipping speed.
Shipley is an effective runner between the tackles because of his vision and patience. He sets his blocks up well. He has very good feet behind the line of scrimmage; there are few wasted steps as he navigates his path through the LOS. He’s quick to hit and get through the hole once he identifies an opening.
As an outside runner, Shipley has enough speed to get to and turn the corner on wide runs while maintaining the natural feel and instincts to plant and go upfield when the opportunity arises. He’s a chunk runner; he makes 10-yard runs look easy. There’s enough baseline speed and initial quickness to feel comfortable that he’ll give defenses problems outside the tackles.
In the passing game, Shipley is a capable receiver with reliable hands. He’s a natural hands-catcher who doesn’t fight the ball. He sets up blocks in the screen game and can be a real weapon as a third-down receiver on the next level. He is a work-in-progress in pass protection, however, and must show he can hand NFL pass rushers to consistently earn reps on passing downs.
Overall, Shipley profiles as a running back who can be the ‘lightning’ in a thunder and lightning running back by committee. He doesn’t project as a player who can handle a full-time workload, but his fiery play style and natural feel and vision as a playmaker will result in a fair share of touches as a runner and receiver early in his career.
Grade: 7.1 (third round)