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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Top 2021 RB Will Shipley Goes In-Depth On Notre Dame & Lance Taylor

January 2, 2020

A year ago, 2021 Weddington (N.C.) running back Will Shipley‍ led his team to State Title and established himself as one of the top players in the state. 

In 2019, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder racked for 2,066 rushing yards, 582 receiving yards and scored 42 touchdowns to achieve a five-star status by some recruiting services. 

Despite the huge state line, Shipley was more happy to be able to add another ring to his collection.

"It's such a great feeling," Shipley told Irish Sports Daily. "We worked really hard for it. We all wanted to send the seniors out with a great memory of high school football. To accomplish our goal, to go back-to-back and for Coach (Andy) Capone to have two State Championships in his two years as head coach is a huge deal for all of us." 

Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Texas and Wisconsin are just a few of the programs who are heavily after the four-star prospect.

Notre Dame running backs coach Lance Taylor has firmly established himself and the Irish as a significant player in Shipley's recruitment before December. 

However, the month of December allowed Shipley to see how much Taylor wanted him as he made two trips to see Weddington star in five days.

"He came to my game and then by the school in the two weeks he could come," explained Shipley. "For him to take time out of his busy recruiting time meant a lot to my family, me and Coach Capone. 

"I know how busy it is and how piled up his schedule is, so for him to come by as many times as he could - he even came to a game on Friday night. It was a huge deal."

Now, coaches showing up for a game might not seem like a big deal, but Taylor made sure to make a lasting impression despite not being able to talk to Shipley in person per NCAA rules.

"A few coaches have come to a few games this season," said Shipley. "With how successful we have been, we usually have a running clock after halftime. Some of them clock out in the third quarter and as much as I appreciate them coming by, it just means that much more for the coaches like Coach Taylor to go the extra length and stay to the end regardless of what the score is. It does mean a lot more." 

It's crystal clear Taylor's efforts have paid off and Shipley doesn't take it for granted.

"Coach Taylor is definitely up there," Shipley said of his best relationships. "I'd say I have five or six really good relationships and I'm talking to weekly. Being able to have those relationships means a lot. To talk to top tier people in the football world is great and I can better those relationships as my recruitment goes on."

The good news for Notre Dame fans is as hard as Taylor has recruited Shipley, he might be in second place. 

2021 Notre Dame offensive line commit Blake Fisher‍ has also put in the time with the North Carolina native over the last few months.

"Blake is one of the funniest dudes I've talked to and met," laughed Shipley. "He texts me probably three or four times a week. 

"That's great. To be able to talk to recruits and people in my situation is absolutely awesome."

It's been well-documented Shipley and 2021 Notre Dame quarterback commit Tyler Buchner‍ have known each other for years, so Fisher isn't the only one making sure to stay in contact.

"Gabriel Rubio‍  hit me up on Twitter the other day," stated Shipley. "Tyler Buchner talked to me after the State Championship. I'd definitely say I'm the closest with the 2021 Notre Dame class out of all the schools I'm looking at. 

"To talk to them and see why they love Notre Dame so much - I think it definitely gives Notre Dame a step forward. To imagine playing with some friends like that in the recruiting world gives them a step forward." 

When it comes to narrowing things down to a top group or committing, Shipley is taking his time and isn't rushing into anything. 

"I'm not 100 percent sure about narrowing it down," Shipley explained. "My family and I are still talking about that and how we want to carry out the whole process. Do we want to narrow it down to a commitment or just go straight into a commitment? We're still going to continue to discuss it and come up with whatever is best for me. 

"I could definitely take some officials and they would be as early as possible as I can make them. I think I'm going to try and commit before the summer. If everything goes right, I think that should be the plan." 

If Shipley ends up taking official visits, will Notre Dame get one?

"As of right now, I think Notre Dame is definitely up there," Shipley said. "With it being further away, it's a place I would take an official to take advantage of all the benefits you get from an official visit." 

As for now, Shipley isn't focused on official visits, but rather enjoying some downtime before he starts training for a third consecutive State Title. 

"I've actually relaxed and taken advantage of my break so far," said Shipley. "I've been staying in the weight room, but I haven't been on the field too much. I want to give my body a chance to regroup before I start lacrosse and hopefully do some spring football during the lacrosse season. 

"I'll be back at it in mid-January full send and trying to go for a three-peat." 

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