C.J. Spiller: Giving back to the community he calls home


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Spiller uses his camp to give back to the community
Spiller uses his camp to give back to the community

CLEMSON – C.J. Spiller will host his annual football camp next weekend, and while there are multiple reasons he holds the camp, two stand out.

He sees a little bit of himself in every camper that comes thru, and he wants to give back to the Clemson community he has and will call home.

Spiller, who signed a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs in February, hosts the C.J. Spiller Football and Life Skills Camp next Saturday and Sunday for 5th-8th graders.

“The reason I do it is just as a small token for me to be able to give back to the community, a place that I eventually will call home,” Spiller told TigerNet.”I want these kids to experience something that they normally wouldn't be able to do. That's the reason I keep doing the camp. I think about Jim Kelly and his golf tournament, something he's been doing for 30 years. It's bigger than all of us. It's a great cause, and it's good for these kids to get out and just have fun. We get most of our kids from the South Carolina National Guard, and it's special for those kids, especially to just be able to get away from their world. Most of us didn't grow up with parents in the military, so this is good for them.”

Many of the kids remind him of a young C.J. Spiller.

“Every year I have had the camp, there is that one kid that you see yourself in,” he said. “You see that they have a great future and potential if they stay on the right course. All of these kids are great. Since I've had the camp, we haven't had any issues with discipline. They respect everybody that is there. If I have ten kids there or 45 kids there, this is fun for me.”

Former Clemson players Jacoby Ford and Xavier Dye are already penciled in as coaches, and Spiller is hopeful that Wayne Gallman and Tajh Boyd will also be able to help. He’s even hopeful that former Bills’ teammate Marcel Dareus will be able to help.

The star, of course, will be Spiller, who has built positive relationships with repeat campers.

“They are all unique because you have those different grade levels,” he said. “There will be kids that have been to the camp every year they've been able to come. And it's always bittersweet when you have those eighth graders that won't be able to come anymore.”

Spiller then said that you never know who you are going to be able to help.

“There is one kid. His mom had been diagnosed with cancer. He had been to the camp three years in a row, and he was getting ready to go off and be a high school student,” Spiller said. “It really touched me, because he wanted to continue to come to the camp. With Coach (Dabo) Swinney having his camp, I was able to set that up so he can go to that camp. They still reach out. Anything I can do to help with exposure and grades I will do. That lets me know we are doing it the right way.”

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