C. J. Spiller

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Not to be confused with C. J. Spillman.
C.J. Spiller
Spiller 2007.jpg
No. 28     Buffalo Bills
Running back / Return specialist
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-08-05) August 5, 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth: Lake Butler, Florida
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: Lake Butler (FL) Union County
College: Clemson
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Debuted in 2010 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Clemson Tigers No. 28 retired
  • College Awards
  • Unanimous All-American (2009)
  • ACC Player of the Year (2009)
  • First-team All-ACC (2008, 2009)
  • Second-team All-ACC (2008, 2009)
  • NFL Fed EX Ground Player Week 16 2011
  • NFL Fed EX Ground Player Week 1 2012
  • AFC Special Teams Player Week 2 2014
  • Buffalo Bills MVP (2012)
  • All-AFC (2012)
  • Pro Bowl (2012)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2014
Rushing yards 3,308
Rushing average 5.0
Rushing TDs 12
Receptions 153
Receiving Yards 1,179
Receiving TDs 6
Stats at NFL.com

Clifford "C. J." Spiller, Jr. (born August 5, 1987) is an American football running back and return specialist for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Clemson University and was recognized as a unanimous All-American. The Buffalo Bills drafted him as the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Spiller was born in Lake Butler, Florida. He attended Union County High School (Florida) in Lake Butler, where he excelled at track, as well as football. At Union County High School, Spiller played along fellow Clemson teammate, Kevin Alexander.[1] During his senior year at Union County, he rushed for 1,840–yards on 176 carries for 30 touchdowns. He also had fifteen receptions for 249 yards.

In his entire high school career, Spiller rushed for 5,511 yards on 541 carries.

High school honors[edit]

College career[edit]

Spiller received an athletic scholarship to attend Clemson University, where he played for the Clemson Tigers football team from 2006 to 2009.

Freshman year[edit]

As a true freshman, Spiller immediately made himself known to the Clemson fans. In the season, he rushed for 938 yards and ten touchdowns on 129 rushes,[6] despite being the second-team running back behind James Davis. He scored his first collegiate touchdown in a 34–33 overtime loss to Boston College on an 82–yard touchdown reception from quarterback Will Proctor.[7] After struggling versus Florida State the following week, Spiller turned it around against North Carolina by rushing for fifty-eight yards and two touchdowns in a 52–7 rout of the Tarheels.[8] In the following weeks, Spiller had two triple-digit rushing games as the Tigers defeated Louisiana Tech and Wake Forest. Against Louisiana Tech, he rushed for 127–yards and two touchdowns on eleven attempts, in a 51–0 rout of the Bulldogs, in which the entire Clemson team rushed for 393–yards.[9] In a Gameday-featured game vs. 13th ranked Georgia Tech, Spiller rushed for 116 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run, as well as catching a 50-yard swing pass touchdown en route to the Tigers 31-7 win.[10] Clemson finished the season with an 8–5 overall record, losing four of their final five games, including a 31-28 loss to archrival South Carolina, and ended the season in a 28–20 Music City Bowl loss to the Kentucky Wildcats. Spiller rushed for only twenty-four yards on five attempts in the loss.[11]

Sophomore year[edit]

C.J. Spiller finds a hole vs. the Maryland Terrapins in 2007.

In his second season for the Tigers, Spiller had a less productive rushing season with only 768–yards and three touchdowns. He did, however, gain more receiving yards, with 271–yards and two additional touchdowns.[6] In the opening three games of the season, Spiller rushed for only eighty-five yards, including a career-worst –1–yards in a 38–10 victory over Furman.[12] In a 13–3 loss, he was again stopped by the Georgia Tech defense, rushing for only two yards.[13] His best statistical game came against rivals South Carolina, which Clemson won 23–21. Spiller ran for a team-high 122 yards on twenty-three attempts in the victory.[14] In the team's bowl game, he rushed for 112–yards on eight attempts, including one touchdown, in a 23–20 loss to Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.[15]

Junior year[edit]

With Spiller and fellow running back James Davis, the Clemson Tigers were favored to win the opening game of their 2008 season against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff. However, a stingy Alabama defense held Spiller to just seven yards on two attempts.[16] He did score though, on a kickoff return for a touchdown. In his second game, however, he rushed for seventy-five yards on six carries, which included three touchdowns in a 45–17 victory over The Citadel.[17] Against Virginia later that year, Spiller threw first career touchdown on a trick play.[18] On January 15, 2009, he announced that he would remain for his senior year at Clemson instead of entering the 2009 NFL Draft.

Senior year[edit]

In the Tigers' 40–24 victory over the Florida State Seminoles on November 7, 2009, Spiller and Jacoby Ford became the leading all-purpose duo in NCAA history (a record previously held by Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott of San Diego State).

On November 28, 2009, Spiller set the FBS record for kickoff return touchdowns with seven during his career. He also earned his spot in the record books in another way on that kickoff return, by being one of five players to ever gain 7,000 all-purpose yards. Spiller was one of the three finalists for the 2009 Doak Walker Award, and placed sixth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.

Spiller was selected for the All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) first team, and was voted the ACC Player of the Year by the members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. He was also recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American. He was the nation's only player that season to account for touchdowns five different ways—rushing, passing, receiving, and on kick and punt returns—and had passing, rushing and receiving touchdowns in one game, a victory against North Carolina State, a first for a player in Clemson history.[19] He returned four kickoffs and a punt for scores that year and had eight total returns for touchdowns during his career. He scored at least once in every game that season while leading Clemson to the Atlantic Division title and a spot in the league title game against Georgia Tech. Spiller led the ACC with an average of nearly 184 all-purpose yards and was the league's fourth-leading rusher, averaging 76 yards.[20]

Spiller graduated from Clemson in December 2009, becoming the first person in his family to receive a four-year college degree.[21] Also, Clemson retired his No. 28 in recognition of his college career.

Spiller was the only player in the FBS to score a touchdown in every game in the 2009 season.

College awards and highlights[edit]

  • 2006 High School All-American (Parade)
  • 2006 High School All-American (USA Today)
  • 2006 All-ACC Football (RB)
  • 2007 All-American – Outdoor Track & Field (4x100m)
  • 2007 All-ACC Outdoor Track Selection (100m)
  • 2008 All-ACC Indoor Track Selection (60m)
  • 2008 All-American – Indoor Track & Field (60m)
  • 2009 All-ACC Football (RB & ST)
  • 2009 All-American – Outdoor Track & Field (4x100m)
  • 2009 All-ACC Outdoor Track Selection (100m)
  • 2009 All-ACC Football (RB & KR)
  • 2009 All-American – Football (unanimous)
  • 2009 ACC Championship Game MVP
  • 2009 ACC Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2009 ACC Player of the Year[22]
  • Had his number (28) retired at Clemson on October 16, 2010.[23]

Statistics[edit]

Season Rushing Receiving Special Teams
Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD PR KR TD
2006 129 938 7.3 80 10 19 210 11.1 82 2 11–33 13–324 0
2007 145 768 5.3 83 3 34 271 8.0 68 2 16–137 19–547 2
2008 116 629 5.4 57 7 34 436 12.8 83 3 18–189 19–516 1
2009 201 1212 5.6 66 12 36 503 14.0 63 4 8–210 21–708 5
Total 591 4,480 5.9 83 32 120 1,362 11.4 83 11 53–569 72–2005 8
Reference:[24]

Track and field[edit]

While at Union County High School (Florida), Spiller posted the fourth fastest time in the nation over 100 meters in his senior year, with a time of 10.42 seconds in the 100 meters.[25]

Spiller also ran track and field at Clemson University, where he posted personal bests of 10.22 seconds and 20.91 seconds in the 100 meters and 200 meters, respectively.[26] He also competed in the 60 meters, posting a personal best of 6.58 seconds.

Personal bests[edit]

Event Time (seconds) Venue Date
55 meters 6.31 Blacksburg, Virginia March 3, 2007
60 meters 6.58 Blacksburg, Virginia March 7, 2009
100 meters 10.22 Clemson, South Carolina May 9, 2009
200 meters 20.91 Clemson, South Carolina May 9, 2009

Professional career[edit]

2010 NFL Combine[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 11 in 196 lb 4.37 s 1.48 s 2.41 s 6.81 s 36 in 10 ft 6 in 18 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[27]

2010 NFL Draft[edit]

Despite being projected as a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Spiller decided to return for his senior season in January 2009.[21] He was projected as a first-round draft choice in the 2010 NFL Draft and was listed as the No. 1 running back of the 2010 class by ESPN. Spiller was selected 9th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was the highest drafted Clemson player since Banks McFadden (1940 NFL Draft) and Gaines Adams (2007 NFL Draft), both of whom went fourth overall.

Buffalo Bills[edit]

On August 6, 2010 Spiller signed a five year $25 million deal ($20.8M guaranteed).

2010 season[edit]

On August 19, 2010, Spiller ran 31 yards for his first NFL touchdown in week two of the preseason at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada against the Indianapolis Colts.

Spiller finished the 2010 preseason with 26 carries for 122 yards (4.69 average per carry) and three touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 35 yards. Spiller was named the #1 running back on Buffalo's final depth chart, ahead of the recently injured Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson. Lynch was later traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

On September 12, 2010, Spiller played his first career NFL game in a home loss against the Miami Dolphins.

Spiller was named Special Teams player of the week for September 26, 2010 for a 95 yard touchdown return against the New England Patriots. Spiller also had a touchdown off a pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, his rookie season was marked with disappointment as he scored no rushing touchdowns and accumulated fewer yards than running backs taken after him in the draft, including Ryan Mathews, Jahvid Best, and Toby Gerhart. For his rookie year in 2010, Spiller produced 283 rushing yards, 157 receiving yards, and 1189 return yards on 56 kickoff and punt return opportunities in 14 games (1 start).

2011 season[edit]

In 2011 it was announced that Spiller would trade numbers with Leodis McKelvin, receiving the number 28 in exchange for the number 21. Spiller wore number 28 at Clemson. Heading into Week 12, Spiller hadn't gotten as much action as the Bills were planning on because of the Pro Bowl caliber season that Fred Jackson was having, but Jackson was then placed on injured reserve, meaning Spiller would finally get his opportunity and become the Bills' starting running back for the rest of the season. In a Week 16 home game against the Denver Broncos on December 24, 2011, Spiller had the first 100-yard rushing game of his NFL career, rushing 16 times for 111 yards and a touchdown in a 40-14 win for the Bills. Spiller finished the year with 561 yards on 107 carries, with 4 rushing touchdowns and a 5.2 yards/carry average. He also recorded 39 receptions for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns.[28]

2012 season[edit]

With Fred Jackson once again missing time due to injuries, Spiller took advantage of the opportunity to have a career year. In Week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, Spiller reached the 1,000 yards rushing mark for the first time in his NFL career. He also only needed 154 carries to reach the mark - the fewest carries to 1,000 yards since Chicago Bears running back Beattie Feathers in 1934.[29] Spiller rushed for 1,244 yards on only 207 carries and scored 6 touchdowns; his (6.009) yards per carry average (YPC) was second to Adrian Peterson's (6.025). He also caught 43 passes for 459 yards with two receiving touchdowns.[30] Spiller was also elected to be in the Pro Bowl as an alternate for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who participated in the Super Bowl.

2013 season[edit]

In 2013, Spiller rushed for 933 yards with 185 receiving yards in 15 games (10 starts).

2014 season[edit]

In Week 2 against the Dolphins, Spiller returned a kickoff for a touchdown going 102 yards. For his efforts beyond that, Spiller was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. On October 19, Spiller broke his collarbone against the Minnesota Vikings.[31] He was placed on injured reserve/designated to return on October 21, 2014.[32] He will be eligible to practice in six weeks and come off the designated list in eight.

Professional statistics[edit]

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2013 Buffalo Bills 15 10 201 927 4.6 77 2 33 185 5.6 27 0 4 1
2012 Buffalo Bills 16 9 207 1,244 6.0 62 6 43 459 10.7 66T 2 3 3
2011 Buffalo Bills 16 11 107 561 5.2 38 4 39 269 6.9 19 2 2 0
2010 Buffalo Bills 14 1 74 283 3.8 20 0 24 157 6.5 41 1 5 3
Total 61 39 589 3,015 5.1 77 12 139 1,070 7.7 66 5 14 7

Personal life[edit]

On August 27, 2013, Spiller took temporary leave from active status with Bills to be with his family after the murder–suicide by his step-grandfather Hubert Allen, Jr.[33][34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kevin Alexander". Clemson Tigers. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  2. ^ "2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Roster". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Rivals.com prospect rankings". Rivals.com. 2006-04-22. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  4. ^ O'Shea, Michael. "Meet Parade's All-America high school football team". PARADE. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  5. ^ "Player Bio: C.J. Spiller". Clemson Tigers. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  6. ^ a b "C.J. Spiller stats". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  7. ^ "BC blocks extra point, knocks off Clemson in 2nd OT". ESPN. 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  8. ^ "Clemson tallies 7 rush TDs, over 300 rush yards in rout". ESPN. 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  9. ^ "With three 100-yard rushers, Clemson outclasses La. Tech". ESPN. 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  10. ^ http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=262940228
  11. ^ "Woodson fuels Kentucky to first bowl in 22 years". ESPN. 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  12. ^ "Harper continues hot start as Clemson slams Furman". ESPN. 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  13. ^ "No. 13 Tigers miss four field goals, have punt blocked in loss". ESPN. 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  14. ^ "No. 22 Clemson hands South Carolina 5th straight loss". ESPN. 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  15. ^ "Auburn uses new spread offense, defeats Clemson for bowl win". ESPN. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  16. ^ "No. 24 Alabama limits No. 9 Clemson's ground game in upset victory". ESPN. 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  17. ^ "Clemson rebounds with easy victory over Citadel". ESPN. 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  18. ^ http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=283270258
  19. ^ http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=293180152
  20. ^ "C.J. Spiller Named 2009 ACC Player of the Year". Atlantic Coast Conference. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  21. ^ a b Strelow, Paul (December 17, 2009), "Running back Spiller graduates from Clemson", The Columbia State 
  22. ^ "C.J. Spiller Named 2009 ACC Player of the Year". theacc.com. December 2, 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  23. ^ "Clemson retires C.J. Spiller's No. 28". ESPN.com. October 16, 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "C.J. Spiller Stats". ESPN.com. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  25. ^ Track & Field News: Lists: 2006: Men's High School
  26. ^ ://www.all-athletics.com/node/98382
  27. ^ "CJ Spiller-Clemson RB-NFL Scouting Combine". NFL.com. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  28. ^ C.J. Spiller, RB for the Buffalo Bills at NFL.com
  29. ^ Former Tiger star C.J. Spiller Hits 1,000 yard mark with fewest carries since 1934
  30. ^ Player Stats: C.J. Spiller
  31. ^ Rodak, Mike (October 19, 2014). "Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller injured". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Bills place C.J. Spiller on IR-recall, sign Phillip Tanner". NFL.com. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  33. ^ Carerras, Iris (August 26, 2013). "Lake Butler Shooting: Hubert Allen Jr., Fla. man, kills 2, wounds 2 and takes own life, police say". CBS News. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  34. ^ Richardson, Anwar (August 27, 2013). "C.J. Spiller leaves Buffalo Bills to be with family after tragic incident". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]