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C.J. Spiller Living Out Dream as Clemson's New Running Backs Coach

C.J. Spiller said that coming back to coach at his alma mater still feels a little surreal and that he is fully expecting a smooth transition as Clemson's new running backs coach.

Dabo Swinney's first prized recruit is back with the Clemson football program. 

After serving as a grad assistant on Swinney's staff last season, legendary running back C.J. Spiller is now a full-time assistant, in charge of the Tigers' running backs.

Spiller is seen as the catalyst in the program's ability to go out and recruit elite-level talent and after leaving Clemson with almost 7,500 all-purpose yards and 51 touchdowns, he was a first round selection of the Buffalo Bills. 

After spending eight seasons in the NFL, Spiller is now back in the upstate of South Carolina and the Tigers' new running backs coach says his hiring almost feels a little to good to be true.

"To be honest with you, man, it still seems surreal," Spiller said said at Clemson's Pro Day last week. "Honestly it seems like I'm living out a dream because we all know that to get your first coaching job at your alma mater usually don't happen and for me to do it here at Clemson, I mean it's something special. Something that I don't take for granted."


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For what originally brought Spiller to Clemson in the first place, the former running back said that it was how much Swinney, who wasn't even the Clemson head coach at the time, cared about what happened with him not only on the field, but after his career was over as well.

"Coach Swinney, who's my boss now, he done a great job of recruiting me," Spiller said. "And really just, not really talking too much football, but just more about my academics, my graduation, then just life after football. So that was very intriguing. I think that's what separated him from the rest of the guys."

"It had a lot to do with just the atmosphere here," Spiller said. "Growing up in a small town like Lake Butler, that's kind of what I was looking for. And when I came here to Clemson, that's what they offered. It's a small town, family oriented, and that's kind of what I wanted."

Spiller is well aware of the kind of responsibility that comes with his new job. However, despite any challenges that may arise, including losing the school's all-time leading rusher, he is expecting a seamless transition as he begins the next chapter in his career.

"It comes with a huge responsibility," Spiller said. "Same thing I told my guys is that it's gonna be a big bullseye on us, but embrace that, you know, accept that challenge. I try to tell them, just go out there and just be you. Don't try to go out there and do what I done. I want you to be the best version of yourself. So if I just continue to preach that to my guys I think we'll have a smooth transition, but we got to got some big shoes to fill. When you lose somebody like Travis Etienne."