RECRUITING: Spiller Eliminates Two From List

C.J. Spiller, the tailback deluxe with blazing speed and Houdini-like moves from Lake Butler (FL) Union County, has reluctantly begun the elimination process. Still undecided where he will go to school next year, Spiller said Monday afternoon that he has eliminated two of the six schools that were on his list of favorites.

(C.J. Spiller profile)

"I've narrowed it down to four schools," said Spiller Monday afternoon. "I've eliminated Alabama and Clemson. I've let those coaches know how much I appreciate that they wanted me to come to their school and they were very understanding. They told me they want me to make the decision that's right for me and I thanked them for that.

"I'll consider Southern California and the three here in Florida (Florida, Florida State and Miami). Southern California is the only out of state school I would consider but if I don't go out there, I'll just stay close to home with Florida, FSU or Miami. I think this is what's best for me."

Even though he has eliminated Alabama, the 5-10, 185-pounder who is rated five stars by, will continue to get some recruiting advice from former Alabama quarterback Andrew Zow, who is from Lake Butler.

"He's been a big help to me," said Spiller, timed at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash at a combine. "He isn't trying to steer me one place or another, but he is helping point out things to me that help me come to my own decision. He's been through this before and it's a real help to have someone who cares about me helping me make the choice. It's a tough choice.

"I like the four coaches that are remaining but I can only say yes to one of them. I think it will be very hard when I have to call them and tell them what I've decided."

He's also relying heavily on Buddy Nobles, his high school coach.

"He would never give me bad advice," said Spiller. "I trust what he has to say. Coach Nobles is always there for me and he's really good at putting things in perspective."

He says all four of the remaining schools on his list are dead even. He will take the entire month of January to seriously consider the pros and cons of each school before he makes a final decision.

"I'm not going to announce it until signing day and I'm not going to make a final decision until after my last visit (Florida State, January 27)," he said. "A lot of people think they know where I'm going and say I've already made a commitment but that's not true. I'll make my choice after the last visit. I'll talk with Coach Nobles and my mother and then I'll make the decision."

Spiller visited Florida's practice for the Outback Bowl Monday afternoon. While he was on the way to the Gators' practice session, he got a call from another very highly recruited player, Tim Tebow of St. Augustine Nease. Tebow, a five-star rated quarterback, committed to the Gators last week and during his press conference, he said that he would start making calls immediately for Florida.

Throughout the recruiting process, Tebow and Spiller have developed a close friendship. They have talked regularly in the days since Tebow committed to the Gators.

"We talk a lot," said Spiller. "Tim's a good friend and he's a great quarterback. He's a great guy. I think we have a lot of things in common and that's why we get along so good. I'm looking forward to rooming with him at the California-Florida game."

Spiller will follow up the California-Florida game with a week in San Antonio where he will be playing for the East team in the US Army All-American Bowl, the nation's premier high school all-star game, sponsored in part by

He said he's likely to be rooming with Florida State commitment Myron Rolle at the Army game.

"Myron and I have talked about that and that's what we're hoping to do," said Spiller.

He said that fans of other schools shouldn't read anything into his choice of roommates for either all-star game.

"These guys are my friends," he said. "I've made a lot of friends while I've been recruited. I'm going to be playing with friends I've met wherever I go to school."

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