Just over a decade ago, C.J. Spiller entered the National Football League as one of the more exciting young offensive prospects in years, a dynamic versatile weapon from Clemson University who helped put the perennial power on the map. Now he’s heading back to help train up the next generation of Tigers.
Spiller spoke with reporters on Tuesday as Clemson’s newest staff addition as running backs coach after playing the position at his alma mater for four years and eight more at the professional level.
Spiller was sixth in national Heisman Trophy voting during his final campaign with Clemson back in 2009 after he put up over 1,700 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns. From there, the Buffalo Bills selected him at No. 9 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft and that’s where he spent his first five seasons in the NFL.
Unfortunately for Spiller, he was never able to put it all together on the field with Buffalo (or any other team) in a way that came close to expectations for him after being a top 10 draft pick. His first season in Buffalo was largely a wash, and although he did make the Pro Bowl in his third season, Spiller never became a consistent offensive force around whom defenses had to significantly compensate.
From there, other teams would try to find that spark in Spiller, believing that perhaps Buffalo was a horribly coached home for Spiller’s talents (it was). However, the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs would all feature forgettable stints with Spiller.
If anything, Spiller was known more for the amount of transactions in which he was involved in K.C. than anything else. Spiller had two meaningless carries in a single game for the Chiefs, but he was released and re-signed on four separate occasions in K.C. in the course of a year.