Emotional Spiller Happy for His Coach

CLEMSON - With Monday's announcement what is junior RB C.J. Spiller thinking now about the NFL?

It was just two weeks ago Spiller said the chances of him returning to Clemson for his senior season would increase tremendously if then interim head coach Dabo Swinney would be named the Tigers' head coach.

In fact, he said, "If Coach Swinney comes back, No. 28 comes back. There's a 100 percent chance."

So what he's saying now that Swinney is indeed Clemson's new head man?

"That is still my mindset," Spiller said Monday evening. "Coach Swinney is telling me not to worry about that stuff like that and focus on finishing my academics strong. Then after the bowl game, after I focus my attention on that team we'll sit down and talk about it."

"I am pretty sure we are going to handle it like professionals like he did today. I'm looking forward to that conversation because I know he's not going to sugar coat it or anything."

Swinney, who was widely considered one of the top recruiters in the nation prior to being named head coach, has been doing some recruiting on Spiller the last couple of weeks, letting him know that if he returns to Clemson for his senior season, big things will be in store for the Florida native.

"I'm already starting the Spiller for Heisman campaign," Swinney said in a press conference 14 days ago. "But we'll consult with different people and see what comes back. I'll support him either way."

"I'll say one thing about C.J. Spiller- he's his own man and he's not afraid to make a decision. He came to Clemson and he surprised a lot of people when he did that. Graduating is important to him and his mom."

"He's a great young man and we will have a Spiller for Heisman campaign ready to go."

Spiller, who was recruited to Clemson primarily by Swinney, said he almost didn't come to Monday's press conference just so he wouldn't steal the spotlight from his head coach.

But at the last second, he changed his mind.

"At first I really didn't want to attend the press conference because I didn't want to take anything away from Coach Swinney," Spiller said. "He deserves this day and I wanted to sit back and address the media later."

"But now I'm glad I came because it lets you know how professional he is. It gives me a better feel of what he thinks about this program and the players. We are looking forward to it. We are looking forward to him being our head coach and winning some more ball games."

And while Swinney broke down several times to start Monday's press conference announcing his hiring, Spiller and many of his teammates were clearly feeling a lot of emotions as well.

"It was very emotional and I'm very happy for him and his family," he said. "They have a very special spot in my heart. I can go to them about anything. It was really emotional today for the Swinney's and the Spiller's."

"Who would have ever dreamed he would have been our coach coming into the season?"

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