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Clemson announces new jersey numbers for multiple players ahead of bowl game

Matt Connollyby:Matt Connolly12/12/23


Will Clemson Use the Portal?

There will be multiple Clemson players wearing a new number when the Tigers face Kentucky in the Gator Bowl later this month.

Dabo Swinney held a press conference on Tuesday and it was announced that safety Jalyn Phillips, cornerback Shelton Lewis, tight end Olsen Patt-Henry and safety Rob Billings will all be sporting new numbers in the bowl game.

Phillips has gone from 25 to 1, Shelton Lewis moved from 14 to 2, Olsen Patt-Henry has changed from 81 to 11, and Rob Billings is now wearing 14 after previously being No. 31.

The changes came due to several players leaving the program since the end of the regular season.

No. 1 opened up when safety Andrew Mukuba entered the transfer portal. Phillips will wear No. 1 during his final game with the Tigers.

No. 2 became available after star cornerback Nate Wiggins declared for the draft.

A transfer portal departure led to the No. 11 being available. It was previously worn by tight end Sage Ennis.

With Shelton Lewis moving to No. 2, that allowed Billings to move in and claim No. 14.

Phillips has battled injuries during his final season at Clemson but has been productive when he has been on the field. He has recorded 34 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 5 pass breakups on the season.

Lewis, who is a freshman, has come on strong at the end of the year. He has recorded four tackles and six pass breakups. Lewis has played in all 12 games for the Tigers, while making one start.

Henry has appeared in five games this season, making two catches for 17 yards.

Billings has played in four games, with all of his snaps coming on special teams.

Clemson RB Will Shipley will ‘for sure’ play in Gator Bowl vs. Kentucky

While some Clemson players have opted out of the bowl game, Tigers running back Will Shipley is not one of them.

Dabo Swinney shared during his press conference on Tuesday that Shipley is playing in the Gator Bowl vs. Kentucky. He will let Shipley announce his future plans when he is ready to.

“I’ll let him tell y’all that. I won’t steal his thunder either way,” Swinney said. “So I’ll let him tell y’all whatever he’s going to do. He’s playing in the bowl game, for sure.”

Will Shipley battled injuries some this season but still put together a solid year, rushing for 798 yards and five touchdowns, while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He also caught 29 passes for 235 yards and two scores.

He was named first-team All-ACC at three different positions in 2022, before putting together another solid season in 2023.