Spiller Remains Interested in Irish

Notre Dame needs big-time playmakers and it's no secret that year in and year out Florida has some of the best difference-makers in the high school football. C.J. Spiller, a 5-11, 185-pound running back from Union County high school (Lake Butler, Fla.) is just that type of player -- he is exactly the type of player the could make an immediate impact at Notre Dame.

While Notre Dame fans have been pleased with the progress Charlie Weis and his staff have made in the first couple months on the job, they still have a ways to go before anyone can start patting each other on the back. A big test for the staff is whether they will be able to draw some of the top recruiting prospects out of the state of Florida.

C.J. Spiller racked up 1,400 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns and added an additional six touchdowns on punt and kick returns. He also averaged over 11 yards per carry. Is the Irish staff making Spiller a recruiting priority, and does he have any interest in playing football in South Bend?

"Notre Dame has been sending me stuff, and I am interested in them," said Spiller. "It has a great tradition, great players, and great academics.

"Notre Dame actually initially talked to my coach about me playing cornerback," Spiller explained. "They liked my feet and quickness, but I prefer running back and they were fine with that."

There appears to be a lot of college recruiters that think that Spiller can play as he has more than 15 offers from the likes of Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, and Oregon. Most of the schools are recruiting him as a running back.

Notre Dame will have some hard selling to do as Spiller grew up a fan of the Seminoles. I asked C.J. how a guy that grew up at Florida State fan could end up playing for Notre Dame.

"They both have great traditions, great academics and both have great head coaches," he responded. "Notre Dame itself has it all.

C.J. mentioned that his running style was similar Clinton Portis', so I asked him what qualities he had that allowed him play at such a high level.

"I have great vision," he said "My toughness, quickness and speed. I explode through the hole. I have the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, and my leadership.

"I get myself prepared to play. That makes me a better player."

Comment: Watch C.J.'s film and you'll see why he has all the offers that he does. As an Irish fan, I see a little Ricky Watters in Spiller. He certainly appears to be a complete back. Notre Dame hasn't offered yet, but I would be surprised if they didn't at some point. I also think that it will be very difficult to wrestle him away from the southern schools.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories