CJ Spiller spurns the Florida schools for Clemson Football
Today, when people look back at the most successful decade of Clemson Football, most experts track the beginning of the prosperity to the commitment from CJ Spiller.
In 2006, it was practically unheard of for a prospect as highly-rated as Spiller to leave the state of Florida. The Gators, Seminoles, and Hurricanes had been titans of college football. Many just assumed it was a question of which of the three would reel him in.
Fortunately for head coach Tommy Bowden and Clemson Nation, there was this guy named Dabo Swinney on his staff that most of us hadn’t even heard of back then. Swinney recruited Spiller and convinced him to give Clemson a shot. He and Bowden visited and got a positive response from CJ, but they knew the titans in the state of Florida would have their chances to change his mind.
When Spiller made his announcement, he shocked the college football world by putting on the purple Clemson hat. The crowd erupted into applause, but a lot of analysts questioned if his choice would work out.
Spiller joined forces with James Davis to create ‘Thunder and Lightning’. They led Clemson for three seasons before Davis moved to the NFL. Spiller elected to return for his final season and led the Tigers to their first Atlantic Division title.