May 7, 2024   3 MIN READ

Together Again

Trotter Jr., Shipley Reunite In Philly


At Clemson, running back Will Shipley and linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. took the program’s “iron sharpens iron” mantra to heart.

Whether going live or merely observing their respective position drills, the competition against each other had the feel of a high-stakes chess match.

But amidst the heat of their battles, a friendship was forged.

Reunited now in Philadelphia as NFL rookies – the Eagles chose Shipley at pick No. 127, Trotter at No. 155 – the two former Tigers have another stage set to keep clashing.

But it’s the close-knit bond between them that evolved, and endured, with frequent feedback and intel volleyed back-and-forth.

“We had our battles in making each other better,” Trotter Jr. said Friday. “At Clemson, one of the sayings we say is ‘iron sharpens iron.’ So, we were always going back-and-forth, trying to make each other better. Whether it’s one-on-ones, in what we called skills-and-drills, doing one-on-ones against each other.

“If he beats me on a rep, he’ll be like, ‘Hey, if you do this next time, it’ll help you.’ If I get him on a rep, I’ll be like, ‘Hey, maybe you should’ve done this.’ Just trying to share ideas back and forth and make each other better.”

Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

While a cat-and-mouse game between Shipley and Trotter Jr. is likely to ensure in practice over the next few months as the two longtime teammates know each other’s tells and tendencies, their common thread can be traced back to their earliest days on Clemson’s campus.

Both were aligned in their goals and vision, determined to grow, compete for a national championship and carve out a contributing role.

“Iron sharpens iron,” Shipley said. “That’s exactly what it is. When we came in, we both knew what we wanted to do as freshman at Clemson. And that’s get on the field, play, compete for a national championship and just go be our best.

“With that, him being a linebacker and me being a running back, we butted heads a lot. We got after it in practice and we just always competed. So, to have him here, one, it’s great to have a friend, someone I’m familiar with. But also someone I know is gonna push me every single day and somebody that’s gonna make me better. And I’m gonna do the same for him.”

Though uncommon for teammates to be drafted to the same team, Shipley and Trotter Jr. have the luxury of navigating foreign terrain and fighting through the inevitable challenges and growing pains together.

Not to mention that neither will be able to afford to bring anything less than their best onto the practice field every day, with the other hot on their trail.

“It’ll be great,” Shipley said. “We had a chance to talk this morning, yesterday. He’s really familiar with the area, only lives about 30 minutes away. So, to be able to have someone like that with the knowledge – not only that, but who’s so familiar with me and a great friend of mine – gives me a lot of familiarity and makes me more comfortable.”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for

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