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Spiller Among Six Tiger Football Players to Graduate on Thursday

Dec. 17, 2009


Clemson, SC – First-team All-American C.J. Spiller was among six Clemson football players and 28 student-athletes past and present who received degrees from Clemson University on Thursday morning at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Spiller stood out from the over 1200 students who received degrees in terms of the ovation he received when he crossed the stage and shook the hand of Clemson President James F. Barker.

The ovation reached another level when the members of the Clemson Board of Trustees in attendance rose in near unison to give Spiller a standing ovation. No one in the Clemson athletic department can remember a time when the Board of Trustees gave a student-athlete a standing ovation at a Clemson University graduation ceremony. The act by the Board of Trustees, which was spontaneous, triggered a louder ovation from the nearly 10,000 students and family members in attendance.

“It never gets old seeing your players cross that stage and earn a degree,” said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “I am proud of the six student-athletes who graduated today and certainly the five we had who graduated before the season started.

“The ovation that C.J. Spiller received was very special. I can’t remember going to a graduation anywhere and seeing the Board of Trustees recognize a student-athlete like that. It certainly shows the level of respect C.J. has on this campus. It is well deserved.”

Spiller was joined in the class of 2009 by teammates Kavell Conner, Jamarcus Grant, Cory Lambert and Ronald Watson. Former Tiger Brian Hill also graduated. Spiller and Ford are the greatest all-purpose yardage duo in the history college football with 11,453 yards over the last four years, and they also received their degrees just minutes apart during the ceremony.

Other graduates on Thursday included Clemson basketball player Karolis Petrukonis, women’s basketball player Christy Brown, and current golfer Ben Martin, who reached the finals of the US amateur this past summer. The list also included Rowing ACC Champions Hilary Cumbest.

Clemson Student-Athletes who Earned Degrees On December 17, 2009

Athlete Sport Major
Crina Aeschbacher W. Swimming Health Science
Kati Aggas W. Swimming Electrical Engineering
Zach Berg Men’s Track Health Science
Christy Brown W. Basketball Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Kavell Conner Football Sociology (BA)
Hilary Cumbest Rowing management
Andy D’Alessio Baseball Parks, Recreation, Tourism, mgt
Jennifer Ficklen Women’s Soccer Health Science
Jacoby Ford Football Sociology (BA)
Jamarcus Grant Football Sociology (BA)
Brian Hill Football Mechanical Engineering
Cory Lambert Football Sociology (BA)
Jessica Leidecker Rowing Animal and Veterinary Science
Alexandra Luc W. Tennis Language & International Trade
Collin Mahoney Baseball Parks, Recreation, Tourism, mgt
Ben Martin Golf Accounting
Phillip Mollica Golf Parks, recreation, tourism, mgt
Alan O’Hara M. Soccer Management
Caitlin O’Neill Rowing Secondary Education (Math)
Ra’Sheena Parker W. Track Nursing
Parker Rogers Men’s Soccer Mechanical Engineering
Karolis Petrukonis Men’s Basketball Economics (BA)
Sara Quinn Rowing Language and International Trade
Hector Quintanar Men’s Soccer Financial Management
C.J. Spiller Football Sociology (BA)
Emily Spray W. Basketball Health Science
Jesse Yanutola Men’s Basketball Computer Engineering
Ronald Watson Football Civil Engineering