US ARMY: 4 Still In It for C.J. Spiller

SAN ANTONIO --- It's still a four-team race to see who lands C.J. Spiller, the lightning in a bottle tailback from Lake Butler Union County. There were reports earlier in the week that Spiller had eliminated Miami from his list of favorites but he told Gator Country that those reports just aren't true.

(C.J. Spiller profile)

"It's still four teams," said the five star rated (by running back who is rated the number 13 overall prospect in the nation and the third best running back. "I haven't eliminated anybody. It's still Florida, Miami, Florida State and Southern California. I've got a lot more thinking to do and some visits that I'm going to take before I'm eliminating anybody.

"I'll still visit Miami on January 20 just like I said I would and next weekend (January 13), I'm really looking forward to my official visit at the University of Florida."

The Florida visit has a certain appeal for Spiller because of the close friendship that he is developing with five star quarterback Tim Tebow of Ponte Vedra Beach Nease. They played together on the winning Florida team last weekend in the CaliFlorida Bowl game and they're teammates on the East team for Saturday's US Army All-American Bowl (1 p.m., NBC) at the Alamo Dome.

Tebow will be enrolling in school at Florida Monday morning and so Spiller's good friend will be available to hang around when they're in Gainesville next weekend.

"Tim will already be there because he's started school so it's going to be great to be there with my family and to see him," said Spiller. "I'm looking forward to hanging around with him and spending more time with the Florida coaches."

Spiller has a real appreciation for Tebow's skills. The big quarterback is a threat as a runner or a passer, but it's leadership skills that appeal to Spiller.

"Tim's a great quarterback," said Spiller. "I really loved playing with Tim when I played with him in California. It's really an honor to get to play with him in this All-American game, too. He understands the game completely and he makes really great decisions.

"The best thing about him is that he's a great leader and that's what you have to have. He is the kind of player you want to play with because you know he will make plays and he'll put everybody else in a position to make plays, too."

The friendship with Tebow extends beyond football. Spiller has been invited by Tim to come over to Jacksonville to spend time at the family farm, something C.J. is looking forward to.

"I really love the Tebow family and all they stand for," said Spiller. "They really are great people to be around. They've invited me to come over and spend some time with them at their home and I'm really looking forward to doing it. They're the kind of people who will always be there for you so I'm going to go over to their house one day soon and just hang around and get to know them better and see how it is."

He tweaked his ankle in California and then had it roll over on him Monday but he says that it has healed quickly and he's good to go for Saturday.

"It was a little bit sore, but I'm all right now," he said. "I'll be pretty much full speed on Saturday and I hope I'll be able to make a contribution to help my team win the game."

Spiller was patient early in the week when it seemed the East offense was struggling. As the East team has worked together, they've begun to click to the point that Spiller sees an opportunity for a good offensive show.

"Once our line started getting their timing down, we started taking off on offense," he said. "We've started to click and I think we're going to be able to score some points Saturday. I like the way that we're playing together."

Spiller was joined in San Antonio by his mother and Coach Buddy Nobles of Union County on Thursday.

"I've got my mom here and Coach Nobles … I've really missed them," he said. "It's been several days since I saw them so I'm happy now."

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