Will Shipley Injury Update: Latest on the Clemson Tigers RB’s Status Against Georgia Tech

Will Shipley missed the Tigers' win against the Fighting Irish with a concussion. Will he be back on the field against Georgia Tech?

Will Shipley is a terrific talent for Clemson, but the Tigers running back hasn’t played since leaving the North Carolina State game with a concussion. He missed the Tigers’ win against Notre Dame, but will he play against Georgia Tech?

Is Will Shipley Playing Against Georgia Tech?

After missing the Fighting Irish game, Shipley was back at practice on Monday and would be in pads for the rest of the week.

“Unless we have some type of setback or something, we do expect him to get back,” Dabo Swinney said. “His head and all that’s good; it’s just been more making sure his neck and everything is where it needs to be.”

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Swinney said Wednesday that he’s practiced all week and is trending in the right direction, but the coach stopped short of saying that Shipley would be on the field against the Yellow Jackets.

Meanwhile, Shipley’s backup, Phil Mafah, ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns against Notre Dame. It was the biggest performance from a Clemson back all season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Shipley worked back into the lineup slowly, considering Mafah was incredibly productive against the second-best team Clemson has faced all season.

Shipley’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • High-level athlete at 5’11”, 210 pounds with excellent burst and speed in the open field.
  • Snappy runner with rare short-area instincts and redirection freedom.
  • Uses elite explosive capacity to throttle up through narrow second-level gaps.
  • Adept maze runner through congestion with his vision and instinctive use of blocks.
  • Possesses rare lateral burst and swivel freedom, which serves as a deadly combination.
  • Has absurd hip flexibility and can effortlessly realign his attack angle while sustaining.
  • Can dart back and forth through minuscule lanes and adapt as space fluctuates.
  • Phenomenal spatial awareness, control, and angle IQ as a manipulator in tight spaces.
  • With his narrow frame, can shrink and slither through interior gaps, splicing upfield.
  • Flashes above-average contact balance for his size, prying through solo arm tackles.
  • Versatile receiving threat with proven volume who can split out wide and man the slot.
  • Can actively run routes and manipulate blind spots with tempo and bend.
  • Can catch the ball away from his frame with diamond technique and quickly reset his feet.
  • Willing pass protector who can use his lateral twitch to reposition and square up rushers.
  • Aggressive, assignment-sound lead blocker who can acquire proper leverage.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t quite have the mass to consistently bowl through tackle attempts.
  • Lacks the lower-body strength and powerful leg churn to push piles forward.
  • Direct contact can impact his composure and balance while tracking upfield.
  • Has the speed to get to the boundary but doesn’t quite have elite breakaway pace.
  • Sometimes misses open cutback lanes outside when navigating through congestion.
  • Tries to do too much when offsetting defenders with blocks; can be more efficient.
  • Will defer to congestion too early and miss chances to bounce outside.
  • Patience is admirable but can be too lenient reading congestion when nothing is there.
  • Lack of mass and play strength does impact his ability to sustain blocks and base.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Shipley hasn’t produced in the same way he did as a freshman or sophomore, but his talent is apparent, even in a worse situation than we’ve become accustomed to seeing him in. His NFL Draft projection is tricky because of his position.

He’s a versatile pass catcher who can run routes from multiple alignments, catch the ball away from his frame, and accrue RAC yards. As a blocker, he’s combative, has a natural feel for leverage, and uses his short-area twitch to reposition himself.

In a modern NFL where phase versatility and all-around utility are craved from RBs, arguably no prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft has more versatility than Shipley.

All the while, he brings true three-down, volume upside with his mix of explosiveness, speed, twitch, flexibility, density, and extraordinary spatial feel and processing ability.

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