One of the most beloved players in Clemson history will be running down the Hill again when the Tigers take the field at Memorial Stadium in 2021.
No, he doesn't have eligibility left, and he won't be returning kicks and taking handoffs, but legendary rusher C.J. Spiller returning to help Clemson win games.
Clemson SI confirmed reports Friday that the former Tiger running back has been added to Dabo Swinney's staff as the new running backs coach. That duty has been going to offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who's adding tight ends to his list.
Veteran assistant coach Danny Pearman, who's been working with tight ends and special teams, is moving to an off-the-field role that's designed to take a closer look at the NCAA transfer portal, something Swinney has not been inclined to use the past few seasons.
It's a lot of changes for a staff that hasn't gone through many during the Swinney era. Spiller's hire, according to a Clemson spokesperson, will be subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, which are scheduled to meet on Feb. 4. A comprehensive list of hires and title changes will be released once it's finalized.
Meanwhile, Spiller takes over a running back room in flux. Gone is all-time leading rusher Travis Etienne, leaving Lyn-J Dixon, Chez Mellusi and Darien Rencher as the veterans. The Tigers will also add star recruits Will Shipley and Phil Mafah this season.
Spiller left Clemson as one of the most decorated playmakers the school has ever seen. He was ACC player of the year and a unanimous All-American in 2009. Spiller was a catalyst for the program's surge in recruiting high-level players.
Spiller, who posted nearly 7,500 all-purpose yards and scored 51 touchdowns, went on to be a first-round NFL draft pick by the Buffalo Bills. He spent eight seasons in the NFL and played for seven different teams. Spiller was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012.
He joined Clemson's staff in the offseason as a graduate assistant, and getting into coaching is not something the former pro is dabbling in. He's serious about turning this into a career, and Swinney is giving him his first opportunity.