Carter Shipley is living in a bit of a dream world.
He’s entering his senior year of high school and he has so many options for a life path in front of him that he has no idea which direction he will choose.
There is always the proverbial fork in the road, but for Shipley, it may well be best represented with an all-encompassing spoon.
Heck, a ladle, for that matter, so he can just spill his plethora of talents upon whatever university is fortunate enough have him.
Ultimately, the standout student, wrestler, football player and basically just your average American teenager — yeah right — will likely end up developing some world-changing alternative fuel as a chemical engineer. (Since we guess that’s what chemical engineers do.)
But that’s far too distant to even consider at this point. Shipley has to decide what he wants to do with the next step of his future, and the options, though highly impressive, will be equally difficult to dissect.
In the past month, he’s seen even more future options added to his list. Air Force, Navy and Middle Tennessee State have all offered the 6-foot-3, 250-pound football lineman scholarships.
But it’s not just football. The 1A state-champion wrestler at 220 pounds this past season, is getting serious consideration for wrestling scholarships and he could easily enroll free-ride just based on his mat skills.
And just last Sunday (June 3) he became a double All-American wrestler at 125 kilos, finishing third in Greco-Roman and fourth in freestyle at the 2012 FILA Cadet Nationals in Akron, Ohio.
But, as they say, that’s not all.
Shipley’s brawn is matched in impressive equivalence by his intelligence. He recently scored an 1830 overall score on the SAT. High score maximum for the SAT is 2400, and of course, Shipley is not satisfied with his first attempt, vowing to do better next time.
Next time? Always the perfectionist.
“I wouldn’t say it’s surreal,” Shipley said when asked if it’s difficult to fully comprehend all of the positive scenarios in his life. “This is something I’ve been working toward for a while. It’s just more of a relief when things do happen.
“I’ve just had to stay focused. That’s the main key. You can’t get sidetracked with other stuff.”
As for football, he has three NCAA Division I-A offers and likely more on the way. He may be considered a bit of a newcomer as a prospect, but that’s certainly not how LHP coach Tim Borcky sees it. He’s been pumping Shipley’s prospectus for two years.
He plays offensive guard and defensive tackle.
It’s not fully clear what position is his strength, but what is clear is that he’s nimble for a big fella. He runs a five-second 40-yard dash and his feet give him an edge.
He enoys blocking in movement, whether it’s horizontal or vertical, and with an incentive on a more lateral passing game this season — with big tight-end-type targets Landon Stokes and Casey Irish — as well as a few more added option sweeps for speed backs B.J. Simpson and Mikey Dorcely, he’ll be pulling from his guard spot quite often.
“I love pulling. It obviously gives you a headstart on the defense,” Shipley said. “I’m definitely pulling more this year and we’ve added three or four new plays where I’m pulling right or left, either way. I really do like that part.”
Shipley hasn’t really had high expectations as a college football prospect, and said he is happy with his offers, so far. But he’s also ready to see what else is out there. Michigan State has shown interest recently, as has Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett, along with coaches from Clemson and West Virginia.
“I’m good right now ... but it’s pretty cool to get these offers,” he said. “I feel a little ahead of schedule, actually. I thought I would get some offers, but figured most of them would come in the fall. Getting them this early certainly takes the pressure off.”
He likes the cards he’s been dealt and figures as options go, these are pretty darned good.
“The way I see it, I don’t have to worry about getting offers as much any more because I have the academies, a couple of Ivy League schools and a D1 school,” Shipley said. “Now it’s just more about seeing what else is out there and what each school has to offer.
“For me, it’s all about having a good education as a backup. Obviously I’d like to play football at the next level, but beyond that, having a good education to be able to get a job right after college would be great.”
A few Ivy League schools have taken interest in Shipley for all of his endeavors. Academics, obviously, is of high importance, and they've taken notice. But there is also interest in him playing football, as well as wrestling, and a small-college setting might bode well for a person who would consider playing both sports.
Shipley will visit Dartmouth this weekend, and plans to visit Princeton and Penn in July.
He makes it clear that he’ll choose the school that has the most to offer, and that’s not solely based on scholarship money, which does not come from athletics at Ivy schools. What a school offers as his future will be as large a factor as will how much money it will cost or how much playing time he projects to get.
“It’s definitely going to be a hard choice, but with these options I feel like no matter which path I choose, it’s going to be a good one,” Shipley said.
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