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Dark Territory Clemson Letterman Photo Of The Day
As a true freshman, CJ Spiller immediately made an impact by rushing for 938 yards and ten touchdowns on 129 rushes. In a Gameday-featured game vs. 13th ranked Georgia Tech, Spiller rushed for 116 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run, as well as catching a 50-yard swing pass touchdown en route to the Tigers 31-7 win.
In his second season for the Tigers, Spiller had a less productive rushing season with only 768–yards and three touchdowns. He did, however, gain more receiving yards, with 271–yards and two additional touchdowns.
With Spiller and fellow running back James Davis, the Clemson Tigers were favored to win the opening game of their 2008 season against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff. However, a stingy Alabama defense held Spiller to just seven yards on two attempts. On January 15, 2009, he announced that he would remain for his senior year at Clemson instead of entering the 2009 NFL Draft.
On November 28, 2009, Spiller set the FBS record for kickoff return touchdowns with seven during his career. He also earned his spot in the record books in another way on that kickoff return, by being one of five players to ever gain 7,000 all-purpose yards. Spiller was one of the three finalists for the 2009 Doak Walker Award, and placed sixth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.
Spiller was selected for the All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) first team, and was voted the ACC Player of the Year by the members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. He was also recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American. He was the nation's only player that season to account for touchdowns five different ways—rushing, passing, receiving, and on kick and punt returns—and had passing, rushing and receiving touchdowns in one game, a victory against North Carolina State, a first for a player in Clemson history.
Spiller returned four kickoffs and a punt for scores that year and had eight total returns for touchdowns during his career. He scored at least once in every game that season while leading Clemson to the Atlantic Division title and a spot in the league title game against Georgia Tech. Spiller led the ACC with an average of nearly 184 all-purpose yards and was the league's fourth-leading rusher, averaging 76 yards.
Spiller was the only player in the FBS to score a touchdown in every game in the 2009 season.
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Scott Rhymer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org