Spiller focused on season, not Heisman

CLEMSON - While the marketing campaign officially gets underway Tuesday with Dabo Swinney's first ever golf tournament with the media, C.J. Spiller has some surprising comments when it comes to his thoughts about the Heisman Trophy.

Simply put, he's not thinking about it at all.

"The only thing I'm worried about is training hard and preparing myself for the upcoming season. I'm going to let all this other talk take care of itself," he told CUTigers when asked about his Heisman Trophy hopes.

"We've got another week or two to get ready for camp so we are treating this like it's all-business so we can be ready."

The campaign, which will officially begin Tuesday, features a six-foot poster of the senior running back which will be sent to various media outlets around the nation.

The posters are also being made available to Clemson fans at upstate Bi-Lo stores and other outlets Wednesday morning at 10 AM.

Spiller said while the attention is nice, he didn't make it a point to provide input in how he's being marketed for the award.

"I really didn't have too much to say about all of that," he said of his upcoming campaign. "I just listened to what [SID] Tim [Bourret] had to say and if I saw something I gave it my advice. I will just let all the sports writers and everybody else have the final say-so about that."

Of course, Clemson University has never had a Heisman Trophy winner, but earlier this decade quarterback Woody Dantzler had a similar campaign.

Halfway through the 2000 season, Clemson promoted the "Team Dantzler for Heisman" concept to various media outlets after a handful of huge performances in conference play. The following year Dantzler was again mentioned for the prestigious award while becoming the first quarterback in Division I-A to pass for 2,000 yards while also rushing for a 1,000.

He even had an entire section of Clemson's official web site devoted to his campaign and was also listed as the preseason No. 2 contender to capture the award by one publication.

But Spiller, who has a similar demeanor to Dantzler, is much more an under-the-radar prospect for college football's top individual award.

At the same time, this is something that has been expected since last season when Dabo Swinney used the media to make his pitch to get the former five-star running back to stay for his senior season, instead of opting for the NFL draft.

"It will be interesting to see what he does. We will have the ‘Spiller for Heisman' campaign ready to go just in case [he stays]," Swinney said before the Tigers' second to last game of the season against Virginia.

And now it will be interesting to see just how Spiller performs as Clemson's featured running back.

Already Clemson's all-time leader in career all-purpose yards with 4,908, he needs just 921 to become the all-time leader in ACC history. In addition, he also has a school-record 12 touchdowns of 50 yards or more in his career.

But Spiller still maintains the new marketing efforts for his Heisman Trophy hopes are the least of his worries, especially coming back for a senior season that could produce that ever-elusive ACC Championship.

"It's a blessing, that's how I approach it," he said. "But I have to work hard on the field and it will all come down to how this team performs. We've got the team to do it this year so I'm looking forward to that aspect of it."

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