Tony Elliott Paying It Back: ‘If There Wasn’t C.J. Spiller, Then I Wouldn’t Be in This Position’

Over the past decade, the Clemson coaching staff has benefitted from the kind of stability that most programs could only dream of having.

Very rarely were coaches leaving for jobs at different schools. At least compared to most of the other bigtime football schools out there.

However, since the end of last season, there has been a lot of change on the Tigers’ coaching staff. One of those included bringing C.J. Spiller on as the teams new running backs coach.

Tony Elliott had been responsible for coaching that position since 2011, but with Spiller now on board, that meant a change for Clemson’s offensive coordinator.

“First it’s a real honor to be asked to move positions so C.J. Spiller could come in,” Elliott said. “Because I’m a guy that knows all about the program. If there wasn’t C.J. Spiller, then I wouldn’t be in this position that I’m in today. So first and foremost, man it was an honor that Coach would ask me to move positions so that C.J. can come in.”

The move is actually one that Elliott, who is a former Clemson receiver, is embracing with open arms. The Tigers’ play-caller said that it gives him a chance to get back to his roots, but at the same time noted that there’s a lot of differences between the tight end and receiver positions.

“I know receiver play, so I get back kinda to my to my roots a little bit,” Elliott said. “You know, first five years of my career I coached receivers. I always knew it was a very different position, but until you sit in that seat, it gives me a gives me a newfound respect for what all Danny (Pearman) had to do in preparation for the things that I asked him to do because there’s so much detail in that position.”

Elliott said that so far he feels like the players have responded well to the move and that he is enjoying learning some new things himself.

“Feel like the guys are responding well,” Elliott said. “They’re definitely gravitating to the to the receiver aspect of the position, which is which is more my expertise than the run blocking, but I’m having fun getting in with Robbie, learning all the intricate calls, hand placement, you know, angles of your steps, all that kind of stuff. So it’s actually been a lot of fun.”

At the end of the day, Clemson’s offensive coordinator said he felt like it was a chance to give back to the program and in a way he feels as if he’s come full circle in his career.

“It’s also an opportunity for me to pay back,” Elliott said. “Because a similar situation happened to me at Furman. When I was hired at Furman, the receiver coach transitioned to running back so that I could have an opportunity to come on staff. So it’s pretty cool to see how the Lord brought that brought that back on me.”

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