Clemson’s Case For C.J. Spiller

I’m told that on Friday Clemson will debut a website for C.J. Spiller complete with video of all seven of his 60-yard-plus touchdown runs.

In the meantime, here is the latest on Spiller courtesy of the Clemson Sports Information Department (thanks to Timothy Bourret for sending it in):

Top  Facts on CJ Spiller

•Leads the nation in all-purpose running with 208 yards per game.  Has achieved that against a tough schedule.  Clemson is one of just three teams nationally to face three top 15 teams (Miami and Washington are the others) and Spiller has his top three all-purpose games against those three opponents.  He had 234 against Georgia Tech, 227 against TCU and 310 against Miami (FL)

•Had school record 310 all-purpose yards at eighth ranked Miami,  tied for the most in the nation this year. Almost had at least 100 yards in three different areas.  Had 125 in kickoff returns, 104 receiving and 81 rushing.   This was against a Miami defense ranked in the top 25 in the nation in total defense.

•Has had a play of at least 60 yards in every game this year.  That is seven straight games with a 60-yard play, perhaps a first in the history of college football.  Has had a touchdown of at least 60 yards in six of the seven games (60 yard catch against TCU did not score). And he has achieved a 60-yard play four different ways.  Has three kickoff returns, two pass receptions, a punt return and  two runs of at least 60 yards this year.

•Joins Reggie Bush as only players in college football history with 2500 yards rushing, 1500 yards in kickoff returns, 1000 in receiving and 5000 in punt returns.

•Ranks third in the nation in kickoff return average with 38.2.  Has 37-yard average in punt returns also, but doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify. 

•Has 17 total returns this year and has taken four for touchdowns.

•Has tied the national record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns with 6.  Needs one more to break mark he co-holds with Anthony Davis of Southern Cal (1972-74) and Ashlan Davis of Tulsa (2004-05). Also needs one more kick return to tie NCAA record for total kick returns for touchdowns in a career. He has seven.

•Has 6363 career all-purpose yards and is on pace to become just the fifth player in NCAA history to reach 7000 yards in a career.

•Has 19 career touchdowns of 50 yards or more. More than Tim Brown, Rocket Ismail  or Reggie Bush, similar types of players, had in their careers.  Spiller needs just 182 yards to go past Bush’s career total and he already has more all-purpose yards than the aforementioned players and Desmond Howard had. 

•Only player in Clemson history to account for a touchdown five different ways (punt return, kickoff return, reception, rush and has thrown a touchdown pass).

•Ranks fifth  in Clemson history in rushing, 15th in receptions, first in kickoff returns. He has recorded these numbers while serving three years as a part time player with James Davis.  C.J. has started just 13 games in his career.

•Needs 118 rushing yards to become just second player in Clemson history and sixth in ACC history to reach 3000 rushing yards and 1000 receiving yards in a career.

•Will graduate in three-and-a-half years on December 17, 2009.  Made first-team Academic All-ACC last year 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 school history.

•Owns or is tied for 20 Clemson records, including three ACC records and one NCAA.

What do you all think?  Has a good case been made?

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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13 Responses to Clemson’s Case For C.J. Spiller

  1. Ed Newman October 29, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    It is a pretty good case but so much of it is (or at least should be) immaterial. His career achievements aren’t very relevant. If so, then let’s just give it to Tebow because no one has (maybe ever) had a better career.

    As much as graduating in 3.5 years is commendable, again it isn’t relevant. Nor is his GPA or Academic All-American status. Otherwise Myron Rolle should have won last year.

  2. philnotfil October 29, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    The fact that his top three games have been against Clemson’s top three opponents is impressive. We will see what happens the rest of the season, but at this point he is as deserving as anyone else being considered.

  3. ross October 29, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    C.J. Spiller wears Mark Ingram pajamas. Mark Ingram wears C.J. Spiller pajamas. The difference? Mark’s are made from human skin.

  4. Kravis October 29, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    I really liked Spiller as a prospect coming out of HS and was bummed when he didn’t come to USC.

    I think Spiller is a no-brainer top contender if his team was competing for a conference/national championship.

  5. Chris October 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Personally, I like the case, but it’s a hard sell to the voters when his team isn’t ranked. Certainly he is as deserving as Tebow or Ingram (no disrespect to those two). It’s not fair, but it is what it is: stars for the superpowers get the recognition and ultimately, the award.

    Right now I think Colt McCoy has the best chance to make a major statement on Saturday night- one way or the other. But Colt hasn’t exactly had a real smooth season.

    But it would be sweet to see CJ get invited to New York. Good luck to him.

    Reno, NV

  6. Dean October 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    Just watch Spiller’s highlights and you will realize he is the real deal. No one is faster or more elusive in the open field. This is the first year he has been Clemson’s featured back, and every opponent’s game plan is to try to stop him. It is rare to see a player who completely alters the opponent’s special teams – they literally will kick it out of bounds or punt it straight up in the air before they will let Spiller touch it. He will be a game breaker at the next level, and the second half of this season will be a treat to watch as the nation starts to realize how valuable Spiller is to Clemson and their run at the ACC title. Without him, they have no shot.

  7. slippy October 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    I don’t see why he shouldn’t be considered. Big plays always come at good times, but his last kick return was perfect. The announcer, seconds before the kick off, says I guarantee they don’t kick to Spiller. About 20 seconds later, CJ is in the endzone. Not only did he answer the Miami score, but he put it in with under 50 seconds to go in the half – a tough task a frosh QB would have had with a long field.

    But alas, the politics of the trophy.

  8. Johnny October 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Using “all-purpose yards” as a statistic is highly misleading, because comparing return yardage to rushing/receiving yardage is apples and oranges. Spiller is on pace for 938 rushing and 458 receiving yards, and 5 combined rush/rec tds. Hardly Heismanesque. So what sets him apart is obviously his success as a returner. The problem is that you can’t win as a returner alone. You also need to have good, if not great, receiving and/or rushing numbers to win the Heisman. Add that to the fact that Clemson is unranked, and the odds are stacked against him.

  9. Jams October 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    I could definitely see the love coming if Clemson wins the ACC and Spiller is seen by many as the reason why.

  10. Brent October 29, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    Spiller would be a candidate had he done the right thing and stayed in Gainesville where he belongs. Without leading Clemson to a miracle season (too late for that) he doesn’t stand a chance at actually winning the trophy. No national publicity in South Carolina.

  11. Chris October 29, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    I hate to see people that talk down to players when they are deserving of being mentioned for the Heisman. If you don’t believe how amazing CJ is you should watch some of his highlights. First, he has had to be a part-time back at Clemson for 3 years. Second, he has had to deal with offensive line problems. If you put him behind Florida’s or Alabama’s line, not only would he have probably rushed for more yards than anyone in NCAA history, he would make Mark Ingram look silly. Lets face it he does it all, wether it be pass, rush, receive, or return for TD’s. Any other Heisman hope accomplish those feats???

  12. Jack November 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    He sure as hell proved he deserved last night. Over 300 total purpose yards, on primetime on ESPN, and against an in conference rival. He’s the biggest difference maker in the NCAA! He can go to the house on anyplay! anywhere from 1-90 yards!

  13. ART January 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    He doesn’t have 5000 yards in punt return yardage, neither did Reggie Bush, that would be absolutely ridiculous. Now, all purpose career yardage, sure, I buy that.