Shipley will be the first Nittany Lions player to receive the bronze statue, which has been presented to the nation's outstanding center since its inception in 2000.
"He's always been a guy that's been a great leader, and a guy that's been out front," said Capuano, who said he talked to Shipley Monday night. "He was the only guy at Moon to be a captain as a junior. And then he was a captain at Penn State."
Shipley, named the Big Ten Conference's offensive lineman of the year, considered transferring after his redshirt freshman year, when he shuffled between defensive tackle, guard and center in a two-month span.
But since moving to center permanently in the spring of 2006, he has become the leader of the offensive line. Penn State coach Joe Paterno said earlier this year that he moved Shipley to center out of "desperation."
"We needed a center," Paterno said. "Shipley wasn't happy about it at the time. He was a natural nose guard. ... I think it's worked out and I think he's happy with it.
"It was a good move for the team because Shipley has become a real strong leader. He's a bright kid, good worker, and we needed some leadership on offense."
Shipley has become the anchor of the Lions' best offensive line since 1995.