Oct. 7, 2009
It is difficult to quantify the all-around accomplishments of Clemson running back C.J. Spiller this year and over his career. He became the ACC’s career leader at Maryland when he had 176 all-purpose yards and now has 5941 for his career. He needs just 59 to become the first ACC player in history with 6000 all-purpose yards. He is on pace to reach the 7,000-yard mark by the end of the season, something only three previous FBS players have accomplished.
Entering the October 17 game with Wake Forest he has 2695 yards rushing, 1074 yards receiving, 1631 yards in kickoff returns and 541 in punt returns. In the TCU game last Saturday he joined former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush of Southern California as the only FBS players in history with at least 2500 yards receiving, 1000 yards rushing 1500 in kickoff returns and 500 in punt returns.
Spiller’s impact on the game can be compared with some previous Heisman winners, or near Heisman winners who handled the ball as all-purpose players. Below is a comparison of season and career stats for Spiller, Tim Brown (Notre Dame 1984-87), Rocket Ismail (Notre Dame 1988-90), Desmond Howard (Michigan 1989-91) and Reggie Bush (Southern California, 2003-05).
So far this year, Spiller is averaging 207 yards per game. Only Bush and his 222.3 average during the 2005 season, is higher. Brown averaged 173.4 in 1987, his Heisman year, and Ismail averaged 156.4 in 1990, the year he finished second in the Heisman balloting. Howard averaged 155 yards per game in 1991 when he won the Heisman.
Spiller has 16 touchdowns of 50 yards or more in his career, including four already this year. Ismail had 13, Reggie Bush had 13, and Tim Brown had nine. Howard’s career total unavailable at this time.
Spiller already has three kick returns for touchdowns this year, two on kickoffs and one on a punt. All have been at least 77 yards in length. He has had a play of at least 60 yards in each game so far this year.
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