C.J. Spiller: Difference Maker Whose Handprints, Sweat Are Woven Into Clemson Program

Dabo Swinney does not mince words when he starts talking about his new running backs coach and the kind of impact he can have on the program.

The head coach spoke to the media on Monday and there was one term Swinney used to describe Spiller multiple times, and not only just for his efforts on the field.

“Look up difference maker and his name’s beside it,” Swinney said. “He’s always been a difference-maker. You know he was a phenomenal player but he’s been a difference maker in every area and not just on the field, he’s been a difference maker in the community, his family, you know, with this program, pretty much everything he done, he’s been a difference maker.”

Swinney said that while this may be Spiller’s first year in his role as a position coach, the former Clemson running back is well prepared for this moment.

“Great knowledge, great knowledge, a lot of confidence in what he’s doing, well prepared,” Swinney said. “You know, he’s 33 years old now. He’s well-prepared to do what he’s doing and he’s had a vision for this for a long time. You know, I don’t think he knew when that when that time was coming but he said he had a vision, you know, for what he wanted to do.”

Now that the Tigers are well into their first spring practice with Spiller in charge of the running backs, Swinney has a good read on how the first-year assistant will approach the job and so far, he is loving what he has seen from the former Clemson standout.

“The biggest thing is just, I like his demeanor, I like how he runs his room,” Swinney said. “You know, I love how he communicates. And again, he’s just a very, very knowledgeable guy. Even though he hasn’t been a coach he’s always been a student of the game. And he’s passionate about it, detailed, and again, just love, love what I’ve seen from him as he’s taking this next step.”

The Tigers’ head coach said that one of his greatest pleasures has been being able to bring Spiller back to his alma mater to begin his coaching career.

“It’s really one of my greatest joys to be able to have him back here,” Swinney said. “And to be able to work with him in this room as a part of his alma mater. A program that man, his his handprints and sweat is all woven into the bricks and mortar here.”

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