CLEMSON, S.C. — Wrap your head around this one. Will Shipley might have been wearing an NC State jersey for Saturday’s top 10 matchup at Memorial Stadium.
Clemson’s leading rusher at one time was a heavy lean to the Wolfpack during his recruitment.
What happened? How did Clemson land the former 5-star from Weddington, N.C.
It’s because former NC State co-offensive coordinator Des Kitchings was let go following the 2019 season. Shipley comes from an NC State family. Both of his parents are NC State graduates and his mom’s side of the family love the Wolfpack.
“It was pretty laid (out) just because of all the family ties and because of how many visits and how close I got with their coaching staff,” Shipley recalled. “But if I remember correctly, when Des Kitchings kind of left or got fired, whatever the case was is kind of when my interest in them went away.
“Coach Kitchings’ and my relationship was really, really good. I think that coaching change is a huge thing, especially when you get close to your commitment date.”
Shipley, eventually, picked No. 5 Clemson and now leads the ACC with seven rushing touchdowns.
“When (Kitchings was let go), I kind of veered away from them,” Shipley said. “But there is all respect. It was a great process with them throughout the whole thing. I have nothing but respect for them.”
Shipley admits it will be weird when the Tigers take on the 10th-ranked Wolfpack. Though his parents will be wearing Orange, most of his family will be wearing red.
“There will definitely be a good amount rooting for the Wolfpack,” he said. “That is one thing I think I have come to realize. I think they are all cheering for me, no question, but when you are talking about my mom’s side of the family, they are diehard Wolfpack fans.
“I am not too involved in it. Don’t want to be too involved in it, but I am sure a bunch of them will be sporting red on Saturday.”
It is a good thing for Clemson that Shipley will not be wearing red.
–photo courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications