Spiller's No. 28 to be retired

by - Senior Writer -
Spiller's No. 28 will be retired on Oct. 16th

CLEMSON – Clemson fans will get to see C.J. Spiller in Death Valley again this season, only this time he won’t be electrifying the crowd with a dizzying kick return or scooting around the edge for another big running game.

Instead, Spiller will have his No. 28 retired at a ceremony when the Tigers play Maryland at home on Oct. 16. Spiller was the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year last fall and was taken No. 9 overall in the NFL draft by Buffalo. The Bills have a bye week Oct. 17, making Spiller available for the honor.

It will be the first football retired number by Clemson since 1987 when Banks McFadden’s #66 was retired at the Georgia game. The only other retired number in Clemson football history is #4, Steve Fuller.

Spiller, of Lake Butler, Fla., capped a stellar career last season by finishing as the ACC's all-time leader in all-purpose yardage (7,558 yards) and set an NCAA mark with eighth kickoff return touchdown. He was the only player to score a touchdown in all his games last season and finished sixth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said on Friday that retiring the number in the fall was a no-brainer.

“This is something we decided to do back in December, but obviously we didn’t know where he would be drafted,” Swinney said. “As soon as he got drafted we went ahead and set a date. He is awfully going excited about it and being back here.

“We talked about doing it in the spring, but we really thought he should be embraced in Death Valley, because that is where he has done his magic. He is one of the best that has ever been here. We are looking forward to him being back here, him and his family.”

Other highlights of his stellar career are:

*Named ACC Player of the Year.

*Unanimous first-team All-American, the third in Clemson history.

*Named Finalist for the Doak Walker Award, first Clemson running back to be a finalist for that award.

*National Kick Returner of the Year by College Performance Awards.

*Won Banks McFadden Award as top college football play¬er in South Carolina.

*Had 20-233 and four touchdowns rushing in the ACC Championship game against Georgia Tech. He had 301 all-purpose running yards, his third 300-yard game of the year. One of just two players nationally with three 300- yard games. No Clemson player had recorded a 300-yard game prior to this year.

*MVP of the ACC Championship game even though Tigers lost the game. First player on the losing team to be MVP of a conference championship game.

* First player in ACC history with 1000 yards rushing and 500 receiving in the same year.

*Had 21 touchdowns to set a Clemson record for a season and 51 for his career to set Clemson record.

*Only NCAA Division I player to score a touchdown in ev¬ery one of his team’s games in 2009.

*Set NCAA record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns when he went 88 yards with opening kickoff against South Carolina on November 28. That was the seventh of his ca¬reer and fourth this year, one off NCAA record for kickoff returns for a touchdown in a season.

*His four kickoff returns for touchdown equaled the total for the other 11 ACC teams combined in 2009.

*Averaged an incredible 270 all-purpose yards per game in four games vs. Top 15 teams last year.
Ranked fourth in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 192 yards per game

*Established ACC record for all-purpose yards in a season with 2680 and career record with 7588. That total is sec¬ond best in NCAA history.

*Named ACC Player of the Week three times, more than any other ACC player.

*Only player in the nation to account for a touchdown five different ways (pass, run, reception, kickoff return, punt return) this season.

* Only running back in the nation this year to throw a touchdown pass, catch a touchdown pass and rush for a score in the same game. He did that at NC State on No¬vember 14.

* Had 310 against eighth-ranked Miami in Miami on Octo¬ber 24 in Clemson’s 40-37 victory, then had 312 two weeks later against Florida State.

*National Offensive Player of the Week by Walter Camp Foundation for his 310-yard performance against Miami on Oct. 24th.

*Joins Reggie Bush as only players in college football history with 3000 yards rushing, 1500 yards in kickoff returns, 1000 in receiving and 500 in punt returns.

*Had a play of at least 60 yards in each of the first seven games this year. Streak ended against Coastal Carolina when he touched ball just five times as he rested an injured toe.

*Has had a touchdown of at least 58 yards in eight of the 13 games (60 yard catch against TCU did not score). And he achieved a 58-yard play four differ¬ent ways. Had four kickoff returns, three pass recep¬tions, a punt return and two runs of at least 60 yards this year.

*Had 21 career touchdowns of 50 yards or more, including nine in 2009. Had 11 touchdowns of 80 yards or more in his career.

*Became just sixth player in ACC history with 3000 yards rushing and 1000 yards receiving when he went over 3000 rushing yards in win over Florida State.

*Graduated in three-and-a-half years on December 17, 2009. Clemson Board of Trustees gave him a standing ova¬tion as he crossed the stage.

*Made first-team Academic All-ACC in 2008 when he made the Dean’s List. First Clemson running back to make first-team Academic All-ACC and first-team All-ACC on the field in same year in ACC history.

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