Clemson Tiger fans, if you think the last few years have been bad, imagine if your best player wasn't a Tiger for the last four years. If you aren't sure who that is, let me help.
He is that blur across your screen, where the eight barely holds on to the two. He is C.J. Spiller.
The truth is, there have been multiple times when it wasn't for certain that Spiller would be a Tiger.
The first is obvious; signing day.
Spiller was a last second recruit by current head coach Dabo Swinney.
Being swooned by the Florida Gators and USC Trojans of the world, the chances of him becoming a Clemson Tiger were close to zero.
But after a trip up to Clemson, and a game at Death Valley, Spiller told Swinney he was about 99 percent sure he was going to be a Tiger. And sure enough, Spiller became a Clemson Tiger on signing day in 2006.
Then there was that tumultuous week in 2007, when Spiller was considering transferring to Florida to be closer to his family, who live about 30 minutes from the Gainesville campus.
That also ended on a happy note for Tiger fans, as Spiller decided staying at Clemson was best for him.
And finally after the 2008 season, he was projected as a first or second round draft pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Almost everyone thought he was leaving along with co-star running back James Davis.
And again, to the delight of Clemson Tiger fans everywhere, Spiller decided to stay at Clemson.
What did Clemson fans get with those decisions?
Without copying and pasting a million accolades, here is what he did in his first three years.
In 2009, he became the All-Time Atlantic Coast Conference career leader in all-purpose yards and the second player in college football history to amass 2,500 rushing yards, 1,000 receiving yards, 1,500 kickoff return yards and 500 punt return yards.
Oh and here are a few youtube videos just to put an image to words.
And then there was this past week.
The Tigers were struggling against the below-average Maryland Terrapins, and were down 24-13. Unable to get anything done on offense, Spiller decided to put the entire team on his shoulders, and pulled the Tigers back into the game; with only one shoe.
Honestly, there is part of me that wishes C.J. would have went to Florida and been a star on a couple national championship teams, or went ahead to the NFL and got his millions.
Because despite all that he does on the field, he is an incredible person off the field. And anyone who has the physical talent and amazing character that C.J. has deserves everything he gets.
But thank God for C.J. Spiller.
Without him, Clemson Tiger football would be in even more disarray than it currently is, and that is something I would rather put off until next year.
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