1. CJ Spiller
There’s really only one player that could be considered ahead of Deshaun Watson when you talk about “program-changing recruiting.”
As far as accomplishments and success, Spiller is behind Watson, but what he did for the Tiger program will never be forgotten.
CJ Spiller chose the Tigers in a time where it was unpopular to choose Clemson. While Dabo Swinney wasn’t the head coach when Spiller signed with the Tigers, you can’t deny his program-changing ability early on.
Spiller was heavily recruited by Swinney and chose to sign with Clemson despite being deep in Florida territory. He chose to stay for his senior year with Swinney as the head coach and led the Tigers to an ACC Championship berth.
Spiller was part of the major rebuild that would be taking place over the next few years. He started it all and without his commitment and decision to stay for his senior year, you may have never seen this Clemson football program take off in the manor of which it did.