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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2021 RB Will Shipley: 'My expectations were 100 percent exceeded'

October 13, 2019

Notre Dame needed to make a significant impression on 2021 Weddington (N.C.) running back Will Shipley‍ this weekend and it’s safe to say the Irish came through.

The four-star prospect raved about his unofficial visit to Notre Dame this weekend as the Irish left a lasting impression.

“It was incredible,” Shipley stated. “My family and I enjoyed every little part of it all day. Getting able to speak to new people and create new relationships was something special.” 

Now, it’s not as if Notre Dame was out of the race, but it was Shipley’s first visit to South Bend and he had high expectations for the program heading into the visit.

Those expectations were met and surpassed.

“My expectations were 100 percent exceeded,” explained Shipley. “My family and I were speaking after the visit and Notre Dame has so much to offer. They showed us everything and told us everything about Notre Dame – a lot of stuff I didn’t know or heard about. 

“What they have to offer from an academic and athletic standpoint, no other school in the nation can offer what they can.” 

The Irish also beat rival USC 30-27 and rushed for over 300 yards, but it was the fans and the student section that caught Shipley’s eye. 

“I really do think it was the best I’ve been to yet,” Shipley said of the environment inside Notre Dame Stadium. “The involvement with the fans and how crazy the student section is – little things like that were crazy. I think it helped it was a big rivalry game and it was late, but it was absolutely beautiful to be there and see it.”

One thing Shipley didn’t do was get thrown up for pushups after an Irish score. 

“I didn’t, but my mom, she loved it,” laughed Shipley. “That was her favorite part of the visit.”

Notre Dame running backs coach Lance Taylor also got a chance to make an impression on the North Carolina native.

Taylor made sure to take his time to breakdown some film, but also made it clear the Irish want him in the class.

“Coach Taylor is one of my favorite running back coaches,” said Shipley. “It was the first time my family has gotten to meet him and it was huge for us to sit down with him. We went over some film and talked about things outside of football.

“He really is one of the best in college football. He cares about his players and brings the best out in you. He said to keep doing my thing and that I know what they have to offer. They are ready to have me if I’m ready to jump on.” 

It’s clear Taylor has put in significant work to build a healthy relationship with Shipley, but so have the 2021 commit as they got a chance to work on one of the nation’s most explosive backs. 

“It’s probably my favorite group of 2021 commits I’ve spent time with,” stated Shipley. “I know all of them and I communicate with all of them. To be able to put a face to a name with guys like Blake Fisher, Gabriel (Rubio) and Cane (Berrong) and speak with them to see why they chose Notre Dame so early. It was great.

I got to catch up with Tyler (Buchner). I absolutely love that kid. He’s awesome.”

Shipley also got a chance to meet and spend a ton of time with 2020 four-star running back Chris Tyree‍. The two hit it off and if all goes well for Notre Dame, both could form an extremely explosive 1-2 punch.

“I got to speak to his family and himself,” Shipley said. “He’s awesome. He’s an even better kid than he is an athlete and that says a lot knowing how great of an athlete he is. I got to speak with him before, during and after the game.

“I’ve never been afraid to compete. I know I’m going to have to compete with him because he’s a great football player. Being able to meet him for the first time, I could really see us getting close and being great friends if Notre Dame is the spot.” 

As far as a timeline for a commitment, Shipley isn’t in a hurry to make one, but he’ll start to focus on recruiting after his season ends. 

“I’m going to take this season to focus on winning a State Championship,” said Shipley. “My family and I will sit down at the end of the season and narrow it down to a group of schools. 

“I’m going to take it how it is and when I feel 110 percent committed to a university, I’ll set it in stone.”


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