The teammate who shamelessly launched a The Nike Air Monarch Shoe Trend inside the facility of January enlisted Clemson and Matthews, NC native Will Shipley left a lasting impression on players and staff in no time.
“Yeah, he’s not like a typical freshman; I mean, it’s pretty easy to see,” head coach Dabo Swinney said at the start of fall practice. “First of all, he arrived in January, so he’s going to be in the lead anyway, but then how he behaves. The 4.0 guy (GPA), he’s just locked up all the time, everything. He’s going to win every sprint. You know he’s not a guy that’s going to be respectful to everyone and say, ‘well, maybe I shouldn’t win this sprint.’
“He doesn’t care about anyone else, and he’s going to win every sprint. If you can’t run with him, too bad. You know it’s just his state of mind. guy who’s going to wait until his last year to be a leader. He showed up here as a leader, and he’s already one of the most respected guys on this team since he came here in January. Just his work ethic. Great work ethic, great, and how unique it behaves, you know, for a freshman. “
“Fast” is the tip of the iceberg for the adjectives Clemson staff use to describe it, but it is by far the most common. Shipley is joined by backroom veterans of the Tigers like Lyn-J Dixon (Sr.), Kobe Pace (So.), Michel Dukes (Jr.), Darien Rencher (Sr.), and even his partner Phil . Mafah (Fr.) earned praise from RB coach CJ Spiller during spring training.
Shipley’s early outlook was blurry with so much depth remaining after Travis Etienne left the NFL, but the talent peaked before the period of cheerless plateaus was over. Shipley is precise on inside cuts and rebounds, doesn’t drop passes, and roams roads like a receiver. He has now earned praise from Matt Bockhorst on media day, who said: “He dominates straight in training, I’m just telling you what I’ve seen”, and garnered the approval of ‘another veteran offensive lineman just days after camp started.
“Yeah, quick,” newly acclimated left tackle Jordan McFadden said quickly of his first impressions of Shipley. “He’s a working guy. I’ll be in the weight room after work hours, and he’ll be there after me. He’s a great guy. He’s one of those guys who aren’t in grade one. “He’s leading the other guys. In a way I would say he might be a leader already. He’s very respectful and kind. I’m excited for his future and what he’s doing this season.”
“I would say in a spring ball scrum – we saw him again today – (there was a play) where he hit it in the middle and left all the DBs and everyone. was sitting on the sidelines like, ‘I can’t believe this guy is on our team. Seeing how he can run away from people is super exciting. … I would say (he’s the fastest on the team) .. . him, Frank Ladson (Jr.), and some of the DBs. We were one day conditioned on the hill and I saw him with Andrew Booth going there. I don’t know if they were running exactly but yes (Shipley won ). I don’t think he and (Ladson) ran, but it’s something we need to see. “
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