TigerNet Talk #84: The Last Ride


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It almost hurts me to think this will be C.J. Spiller's last game in a Clemson uniform. It seems like only yesterday he took that Clemson cap and placed it on his head and stated that he would attend Clemson University. Spiller surprised a lot of people that day, but that wouldn't be the last time he shocked a big crowd.


During his career C.J. has carved out a place among Clemson's greatest players of all-time and one could argue he is one of the greatest collegiate players in history too.


I know there will be detractors, but the numbers don't lie. Spiller's ability to juke and go makes him one of the most elusive backs I have ever seen. That combined with his elite speed makes him a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. Those are only part of the reason he has scored 50 touchdowns in his career.


We already know Spiller's #28 will be retired after this season, it would also appear he will join the Ring of Honor in a few years. Tiger greats like Perry, Davis, Fuller, Dantzler, Tuttle, and the legendary Banks McFadden will all be behind C.J. Spiller when you list the greatest to ever suit up in the orange.


It's going to be tough to sway me on my belief. Sure, I didn't see Banks McFadden play, but with all due respect it was a different game. Take Spiller to the 40's and he is a monster. Bring McFadden to the 2000's and he might make the team. I am sure some will blast me for that, but it's probably true.


I'll also step out on the limb and say that Spiller is one of the greatest collegiate players in history as well. Nationally, Spiller didn't get the recognition he deserved and most of that is Clemson's fault, not his. The Tigers didn't win the games they needed to, in order for people to take notice of C.J. Had he played for a great team, his name would be mentioned among the all time greats.


Unlike the national media, I saw him every week and he was better than anyone I have ever seen. I remember his freshman year when I said, "We have a Reggie Bush style player." I think now I would say, "Southern Cal had a C.J. Spiller style player."


Yep. Spiller surpassed Reggie Bush during his career. He is the fastest I have ever seen to stop and start on a dime. His vision to find the smallest holes in a defense is unreal. But I think his ability in the kick return game probably separates him from many great backs in history. I'm not saying he is the greatest running back ever, I can't argue that point. But he is one of the greatest players ever.


C.J. Spiller was the #1 all-purpose back in the country coming out of high school and with 349 yards in his final game he would become the all time leader in all-purpose yards in college football history. Spiller's career high is 312, but I wouldn't say he can't do it. Spiller still has a shot at the record.


Had teams not completely avoided kicking and punting to him the entire year he would have shredded the all time mark.


In the end, think of Spiller's last game as your final Christmas present of 2009. Whether Clemson wins or loses be thankful for the years #28 suited up. I'm sure he will speak to the team about being fired up for the game, even if you are not. A bowl win is one thing that C.J. doesn't have in his career and I know he wants one.


For numerous defenders it was hard to see Spiller on the field when had the ball, but it will be harder for Clemson fans next season, not seeing him on the field.


——–


Season Predictions: El Swann: 10-3 , Xbox 360: 10-3


Follow the Tigers throughout the season on TigerNet Talk and Clemson Hotline. Each week, Lawton Swann will review the previous weekend’s game and preview and predicts Clemson’s next game. You can listen to both shows at http://www.clemsonpodcasts.com.


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Go Tigers!


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