Spiller, Ford among six Tiger Football players to graduate on Thursday

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Board of Trustees rose in near unison to give Spiller a standing ovation. (Photos: fotoman)

Clemson, SC—First-team All-American C.J. Spiller was among six Clemson football players and 28 student-athletes past and present who received degrees from Clemson University on Thursday morning at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Spiller stood out from the over 1200 students who received degrees in terms of the ovation he received when he crossed the stage and shook the hand of Clemson President James F. Barker.

The ovation reached another level when the members of the Clemson Board of Trustees in attendance rose in near unison to give Spiller a standing ovation. No one in the Clemson athletic department can remember a time when the Board of Trustees gave a student-athlete a standing ovation at a Clemson University graduation ceremony. The act by the Board of Trustees, which was spontaneous, triggered a louder ovation from the nearly 10,000 students and family members in attendance.

“It never gets old seeing your players cross that stage and earn a degree,” said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “I am proud of the six student-athletes who graduated today and certainly the five we had who graduated before the season started.

“The ovation that C.J. Spiller received was very special. I can’t remember going to a graduation anywhere and seeing the Board of Trustees recognize a student-athlete like that. It certainly shows the level of respect C.J. has on this campus. It is well deserved.”

Spiller was joined in the class of 2009 by teammates Jacoby Ford, Kavell Conner, Jamarcus Grant, Cory Lambert and Ronald Watson. Former Tiger Brian Hill also graduated. Spiller and Ford are the greatest all-purpose yardage duo in the history college football with 11,453 yards over the last four years, and they also received their degrees just minutes apart during the ceremony.

Other graduates on Thursday included Clemson basketball player Karolis Petukonis, women’s basketball player Cristy Brown, and current golfer Ben Martin, who reached the finals of the US amateur this past summer. The list also included Rowing ACC Champions Jessica Leidecker and Hilary Cumbest.

Clemson Student-Athletes who Earned Degrees On December 17, 2009
Athlete			Sport		Major
Crina Aeschbacher	W. Swimming	Health Science
Kati Aggas		W. Swimming	Electrical Engineering
Zachery Berg		Men’s Track	Health Science
Christy Brown		W. Basketball	Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Kavell Conner		Football	Sociology (BA)
Hilary Cumbest		Rowing		Management
Andy Dalessio		Baseball	Parks, Recreation, Tourism, mgt
Jennifer Ficklen	Women’s Soccer	Health Science
Jacoby Ford		Football	Sociology (BA)
Jamarcus Grant		Football	Sociology (BA)
Brian Hill		Football	Mechanical Engineering
Cory Lambert		Football	Sociology (BA)
Jessica Leidecker	Rowing		Animal and Veterinary Science
Alexandra Luc		W. Tennis	Language & International Trade	
Collin Mahoney		Baseball	Parks, Recreation, Tourism, mgt
Ben Martin		Golf		Accounting
Phillip Mollica		Golf		Parks, recreation, tourism, mgt
Alan O’Hara		M. Soccer	Management
Caitlin Oneill		Rowing		Secondary Education (Math)
RaSheena Parker		W. Track	Nursing
Parker Rogers		Men’s Soccer	Mechanical Engineering
Karolis Petrukonis	Men’s Bball	Economics (BA)
Sara Quinn		Rowing		Language and International Trade
Hector Quintanar	Men’s Soccer	Financial Management
C.J. Spiller		Football	Sociology (BA)
Emily Spray		W. Basketball	Health Science
Jesse Yanutola		Men’s Bball	Computer Engineering
Ronald Watson		Football	Civil Engineering

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