For the first time in several years, Clemson will have a new position coach on the field when the Tigers open up the 2021 season against Georgia in Charlotte.
C.J. Spiller is in the process of making the transition from graduate assistant to being Clemson's full-time running back's coach, taking over for offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who is now overseeing the team's tight ends.
Spiller, who is one of the most notable players in the history of the program and a former first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills, credited Elliott with making the transition a smooth process last week at Clemson's Media Day.
"Coach Elliott did a great job of making the transition for me real smooth," Spiller said. "Just giving me a lot of knowledge and understanding of how to handle, you know, some of the guys that's in the room. He did a great job of recruiting all those guys so he kind of gave some backstory, you know, in personalities."
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Spiller used the spring to ease into his new role while getting more familiar with the players in his room. With the team now getting ready to start fall camp Spiller will now begin the process of deciding how to replace the production of Travis Etienne, the ACC's all-time leading rusher.
"It's kind of just going through the spring and kind of just feeling all the guys out for myself," Spiller said. "Kind of getting to a better understanding of how to be able to manage the room. It's been great."
Spiller also credited head coach Dabo Swinney, along with the rest of the coaches on the staff, for giving him insight into how to be successful as a coach at the collegiate level. Swinney is, after all, the man responsible for bringing Spiller to Clemson back when he was a young wide receivers coach on Tommy Bowden's staff.
"Been learning a lot since I took over," Spiller said. "All these veteran coaches that we have on coaching staff and then obviously, our head coach, coach Swinney, he has been great. He's given me some wisdom and knowledge and some things that I can have to go help our back's be successful."
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