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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Will Shipley Goes In-Depth on Zoom with Brian Kelly, Tommy Rees & Lance Taylor

April 25, 2020

Friday was an important day for Notre Dame and 2021 Weddington (N.C.) running back Will Shipley‍. 

The composite five-star back and his family jumped on Zoom with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and running backs coach Lance Taylor. 

"It was incredible," Shipley told Irish Sports Daily. "I got on a Zoom call and talked for about an hour and 45 minutes. My parents and I got to create a better relationship with Coach Kelly, which we hadn't been able to 100 percent do yet. 

"My parents got to meet Coach Rees and they loved him and his competitive nature. We just got to better our relationship with Coach Taylor, which was already all the way up there." 

The Shipley family was impressed with Kelly, but also the message during the entire conversation.

"Coach Kelly really started it off and went over the culture and things he tries to implement in the program," said Shipley. "Coach Rees then went over some film with me and how he wants the offensive direction to go. Coach Taylor and I talked about some running back things that were important to him and his room. We also went over some more film with him. 

"Coach Kelly then came back on and finished off the call by telling us how he develops his players to reach their potential and be the best they can be." 

The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder also appreciated the time Kelly took out of his day to develop a stronger relationship. 

"I know how busy he is during these times," explained Shipley. "He's probably on a couple committees, talking to recruits and keeping up with all his players and coaches. For him to take time to talk to my family and I to give us more information, it really does mean the world." 

Perhaps one of the more interesting parts of the Zoom call was a film session with Rees and Taylor. 

Both coaches were able to show Shipley exactly how he would fit into the Irish offensive attack. 

"I love to see how I would be used," Shipley stated. "Coach Taylor and Coach Rees did an absolutely great job of that yesterday. They pulled up plays from last year,the year before and the league from last year. They showed me how they would use me and expand the offense to make it the best it can be. 

"That does mean a lot to me - to be able to see what my future would be like if I chose Notre Dame." 

Now, coaches showing recruits how they'd be used isn't anything new and other schools have done the same with Shipley.

However, Notre Dame's red zone package perked Shipley's ears a little bit as he saw opportunities for several favorable matchups. 

"I'd say a couple schools have done that with me," Shipley said of schools showing him film. "Stanford is one that has been big on showing me how they would use me. A lot of it is the same, but with minor details that are different. 

"Notre Dame loves putting the running back out in the red zone on passing routes. That's awesome because that's a touchdown, so I'd enjoy all that stuff. A lot of it is the same with each school and I don't mind that." 

As Shipley closes in on a decision, Notre Dame attempted to also ease his mind on distance. 

It's a quick flight to South Bend from Charlotte, but Kelly also highlighted the fact the Irish would also be in ACC country quite a bit during Shipley's career. South Bend from Charlotte, 

"Coach Kelly went over all of the games that would be played within a four-hour vicinity of my home in North Carolina," stated Shipley. "He went over each location and the exact distance it would be from my house. 

"They definitely covered that part of it. I know a big part of that is my grandmother coming to see me play in college. He went to that point to say she could still come to games without having to fly to South  Bend. It was nice to hear that from him." 

The message from Kelly was well-received and hit home with the Weddington star. 

"It has changed my perspective on distance for Notre Dame and that was a big thing for me," Shipley said. "Going forward, I think it's one thing I can kind of put to the side." 

As for a decision, Shipley expects to make a commitment sooner than later. 

"We still haven't come out with an exact date, but I've been kind of saying the next couple weeks," said Shipley. "I hope that's when I can do it. That's what my family and I want to do it, so that's what we're thinking right now." 

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