However the thought of transferring to Florida has continued to creep into the mind of Clemson C.J. Spiller as recently as the last few months. Even as Spiller started his drive from his home in Florida back to South Carolina, he deliberated his decision to a certain degree.
"Sometimes (I had doubts), but I just tried to wipe them out and just listen to music," Spiller said. "I was just trying to get my mind ready for the season."
One of the biggest misconceptions during this whole ordeal was that Spiller, now a sophomore, was solely upset at the situation of having to be so far away from his girlfriend, baby daughter and home.
And while that is partly the reason for his thoughts of returning home and playing for the Gators, it wasn't the entire basis.
"It was that some, but mostly I just didn't think I was very happy with the way games went and the way the team reacted after games," he said. "I guess I just kind of let my frustration go a little too far.
"That was the biggest thing. Things weren't really clicking. We started off with a great season and then to finish 1-4 was a disappointing year."
Then on top of it all, Spiller only carried the ball five times in the Music City Bowl against a Kentucky team that sported one of the worst defenses in the country.
In fact, he didn't have a single rush after halftime.
Keep in mind that game came on the heels of him rushing for 154 and 155 yards respectively in his two previous games.
And the whole ordeal came to a boiling point when Florida won the Southeastern Conference and routed Ohio State for the national championship.
"That kind of added more pressure seeing them do good," Spiller said. "We had the talent to go a long way and further than we did last year. It was a privilege to play in the Music City Bowl, but I just felt we could have played in a better bowl. It was frustration that went too far, really."
Some preseason publications feel the Tigers in store for a tough season. And if by some chance that were to happen, Spiller said he thinks he'll be better able to handle the disappointment this time around.
"That's what I talked to my high school coach about over the summer," he said. "Just about staying calm and collected even when things aren't going good and the team's falling apart. I'm better prepared this year than I was last year."
But he and everybody else associated with the Clemson football program are hoping that his emotions won't be put to the test this year.
One thing is for sure, Spiller fully expects a better season out of himself and his teammates this time around. And should that happen, it means one definite thing – all talk of leaving Clemson will vanish as quickly as it came.
The only discussion that will take place on him leaving will be about jumping early to the NFL.
"I love it here," he said. "This is where I want to play football. Hopefully I'll be here for the next three years and finish my career here."
Spiller: "I Love It Here"
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