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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame A Significant Offer For 2021 RB Will Shipley

May 1, 2019

2021 Weddington (N.C.) running back Will Shipley‍ holds offers from programs like Arkansas, Duke, Georgia, NC State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oregon, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin, but received a significant one on Monday evening. 

Notre Dame running backs coach Lance Taylor stopped by the school early on Monday and then spoke to the 5-foot-11, 198-pounder on the phone later in the day to deliver the good news. 

“Coach Taylor told me to call him on Tuesday night,” Shipley told Irish Sports Daily. “My dad and I got on the phone with him and we talked for about 10-15 minutes. He offered me towards the beginning of the phone call. 

“The feeling is just so awesome. The reputation Notre Dame has and how successful they’ve been against some of the top teams in the nation makes them a contender each year. Notre Dame has been an offer I’ve wanted for a while now. To get that offer, it meant a lot to me.” 

The speedy back is also aware of Notre Dame’s big-time recruiting classes the last two cycles as he’s friends with a couple of players headed to South Bend.

“The recruiting classes they are bringing in – I’m really good friends with Tyler Buchner‍,” said Shipley. “We played lacrosse against each for countless summers now. I know Ositadinma Ekwonu‍ because he was supposed to go to my high school but transferred to Providence Day.”

When it comes to Buchner, the chance to compete against each other is something both players have embraced on the lacrosse field, but Shipley admitted seeing the four-star quarterback commit to Notre Dame opened his eyes.

“I always knew he was a pretty darn good football player,” stated Shipley. “I saw a couple months ago he committed to Notre Dame and I was like ‘Yeah, that kid is legit.’” 

As for who is the better lacrosse player, Shipley will roll with himself. 

“That’s a tough one,” laughed Shipley. “I’m a competitor, so I’m going to say myself. He’s up there. He’s a great lacrosse player.” 

When it comes to Notre Dame, Taylor impressed Shipley over the phone as he struck a spot very close to running back’s heart.

“We just talked about what he’s done and where he was before Notre Dame,” explained Shipley. “He compared me to Christian McCaffrey, which I’ve gotten that comparison numerous times now. Hearing it from Coach Taylor who coached him and helped in his success, it meant a lot to me. 

“I really do model my game off of Christian McCaffrey with a couple of my own techniques, but that’s definitely someone I look up to. There isn’t much better to be paired up with the coach who coached him.”

Shipley has visited several programs in the area as he’s been to Duke, NC State, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wake Forest, but he’s hoping to get back to the Midwest in the summer. 
“I went to Northwestern two weeks ago and I really enjoyed that visit,” stated Shipley. “I have a visit to Stanford on June 7th. 

“We’ve already gotten some dates (to visit Notre Dame). My family and I are discussing them, but with school lacrosse and summer lacrosse starting after, it will be tough. We definitely want to get up there in the summer.” 

While it’s still early in his recruitment, Shipley already is looking at a few areas of each program to help him find a future home.

“Academics are number one to me,” said Shipley. “That’s always been the biggest thing because football will always come to an end. I want to go somewhere with really high academic standards. I’m looking at the campus and for a family vibe around the team. The relationships with the coaches will play a part too. 

“I’m a very high competitor, I want to go in and compete my first couple years. I’d love to get on the field as a freshman. I know it’s hard to do, but it’s something I’m always up to work towards.” 

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