10 questions with C.J. Spiller

CLEMSON - On the eve of the start of his senior season, CUTigers reveals 10 questions with C.J. Spiller.

Is there more excitement from you this year knowing that not only is it your last year but that you will be the featured back?
Spiller: Yes, it's very exciting just to see what we can do as a team finally. We've got the right pieces coming back together, we've got a young QB. I've still got two young RBs like I've been saying that'll definitely help carry the load, so I'm not too worried about going out there and getting punished every down because I've got two great athletes like Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington and that can definitely provide me a spare out there.

How much has the defense that you've seen this year improved as opposed to previous camps?
Spiller: They've been more physical, more dominant on the line of scrimmage at the point of attack so I think our defense is going to be fine. I think if we just keep on their feet as much as possible, I think they can very well be in the top 5 defenses in the nation.

The expectations were much higher this time last year; you guys are kind of flying below the radar coming into the season now. Do you think that's going to help you?
Spiller: We're not really worried about where everyone else has us. We still have to go out there and play on Saturday. We've got 12 games and we're just gonna focus on doing 12 and execute the field the best way we can.

You've chosen Clemson several times over pursuing other opportunities in your football career. Is it becoming more important to you to leave your mark on the program this year?
Spiller: Clemson's been great to me and my family. I've had a wonderful experience. I'm just gonna go out there and enjoy this last year with them, embrace the fans, and just try to bring excitement each Saturday I step on the field.

From your freshman year to now, what are some of the biggest changes you've seen in yourself through this college football experience?
Spiller: That was a long time ago! But mainly, I think I'm just more mature. I understand the game now so I understand what it takes to be focused and go out there and execute. As a freshman you just come in wanting to play so I think the biggest difference over time has to be the maturity level.

"I think I'm just more mature. I understand the game now so I understand what it takes to be focused and go out there and execute."
Typically when you have an older QB you have somebody who's not afraid to speak up in the huddle when you're out on the field; with it being a much younger QB this year, who's going to take over that role on game day?
Spiller: I take it over some. The QB will get adjusted to the offensive line and we have a lot of seniors on the offensive side of the ball so everyone's kind of voicing their opinion, but we know we have to listen to him. He's the Commander in Chief once we step on that field. He's going to put us in the right direction to execute in the best way we can.

What impressed you about what Kyle Parker did in practice in August?
Spiller: He knows what he's doing. All three of the QBs know the offense so it's not the situation where if Kyle goes down, Willy can't step in and get the job done. The coaches just felt comfortable with Kyle's progression enough to name him the starter.

What's your impression of MTSU and what they can do defensively?
Spiller: They fly around the ball. They always have a lot of guys with the game tackle. They're very quick and that will be a tough task for us, but that's why we practice this week and try to get adjusted to it.

Are we going to see an offense that's finding ways to get you the football in ways we haven't seen before?
Spiller: The offensive is going to be very explosive. We're going to try to get everyone who's a playmaker the ball, and just let those guys go out and make plays. I know whenever my number gets called out, I'm going to be ready to go.

You've got a chance to set a lot of personal records this year, but you seem to always put focus on reaching team goals. Is that attitude being carried into this season?
Spiller: Oh yeah, that's the complete focus. The main goal is trying to win the ACC championship. If that's what we do, I'm going to be very happy. That's the purpose of coming back and playing again.

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