Spiller understands massive role

CLEMSON - Thanks to his grandmother, C.J. Spiller learned a long time ago how to carry himself through life.

Revered by many as a living Clemson football legend, Spiller is cherished for his play on the field and admired for how he carries himself off of it.

"You have to be careful about the moves you make, how you say things, how you talk to people, how you treat people," he said. "That's a lesson my grandma taught me a long time ago. It wasn't anything new to me once I started being successful."

Spiller's stardom never seemed more apparent until his final game at Union County High School in Lake Butler, Fla. Afterwards, several players from the opposing team asked him for autographs.

"When you see the opposing team asking for autographs, that's when you realize everybody's watching," Spiller said.

Those guys who asked him for autographs after his last game are probably feeling pretty good about themselves right now.

The only ACC player of the 15 remaining candidates for the Walter Camp Player of the Year and a serious contender for the Heisman Trophy, Spiller's one of just two players to score a touchdown in every game he's played in this season. He ranks third in the nation in all-purpose yards (195/game).

He realizes kids look to their heroes on the football field as role models.

"That's how I try to present myself on and off the field--to be a great role model to younger kids, so they don't have to worry about a guy letting them down," Spiller said. "I'm not perfect, but I try to do my best to show them the right way to do things."

The thought of being called the best of all-time at Clemson humbles him. It's a right that he reserves for Banks McFadden, who Spiller said, "laid the foundation."

"I'll always come back here and visit. I'll always remain the same. There won't be any change in me. I'll still be the same ol' C.J. that was here for four years," he said.

The thought of one of those return trips to accept a spot in the ring of honor is humbling for Spiller.

"It'd be cool if I was inducted to the ring of honor. If that happens, it took a lot of hard work from, not only me, but also my teammates," he said. "I can't do it without them. It starts with those other 10 guys who are on the field and block for me."

CUTigers.com Top Stories