Former Weddington High 5-star recruit Will Shipley had one of his best performances of the season in Clemson’s bowl game win over Iowa State last week.
Playing in his first ever bowl game, the true freshman carried the ball 18 times for 61 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 53 yards. He finished the game with 114 yards of total offense, which led the team.
Shipley’s touchdown came at a crucial point in the second half. Leading 6-3 with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Shipley broke loose for a 12-yard score. On Iowa State’s next possession, Clemson corner Mario Goodrich intercepted a pass and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-3.
As a true freshman this season, Shipley (5-11, 200 pounds) ran for a team-high 739 yards and 11 touchdowns, and also gained 116 yards on 16 receptions.
Clemson’s all-time leader in rushing and rushing touchdowns is Travis Etienne, who ran for 4,952 yards and 70 touchdowns before being drafted in the first round in 2021.
Etienne is currently a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was selected No. 25 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he has missed the entire 2021 season after suffering a Lisfranc injury in his left foot in August.
Next season, Shipley will be expected to lead Clemson’s backfield in what the Tigers hope is a bounce-back season. Clemson is expected to return starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei next season, but after struggling mightily as a sophomore this season, he could open the door for incoming 5-star freshman Cade Klubnik, who is currently the No. 1 quarterback in the Class of 2022.
Klubnik is expected to enroll at Clemson this month and start competing for the starting job once spring practice starts. He played his high school ball at Westlake High in Austin, Texas.
The Tigers have no running backs in their 2022 recruiting class. Shipley and rising junior Kobe Pace, who ran for 641 yards and six touchdowns this season, are expected to spearhead the rushing attack.