Dec. 13, 2009
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson all-purpose All-American Steve Fuller finished in a tie for sixth with Ted Brown of NC State in 1978 and that is the only other top 10 Heisman finish by a Clemson player.
Spiller had 26 first-place votes, 31 second-place votes and 83 third-place votes in recording 223 total Heisman points. He was named to 140 of the 925 ballots. He was 167 points behind Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in the Heisman voting. The 26 first-place votes and 223 voting points were also the most ever by a Clemson player. Fuller had 19 first-place votes and 92 points in the 1978 Heisman voting.
Below are some other notes on Spiller and the Heisman voting: Spiller was the first ACC player to finish in the top six of the Heisman race since 2000 when Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke won the award. Since 1992, the only other ACC players (in the league the year of the voting) to finish in the top six were Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech (2nd in 1999), Warrick Dunn of Florida State (5th in 1996), and Charlie Ward of Florida State (first in 1993).
Spiller’s 26 first place votes and 223 voting points were also the most by an ACC player since Weinke won the award in 2000.
Voting in the Heisman this year was a close vote, as evidenced by the 28-point difference between first place Mark Ingram of Alabama and second place Toby Gerhart of Stanford, the closest margin for the winner in the 75-year history of the award. But, Spiller’s vote total was also an indication of the close race. Spiller’s 26 first-place votes were the second most by a sixth-place finisher since 1973. The only other sixth-place finisher with more in the last 36 years was the 46 first-place votes by Antwan Randel El of Indiana in 2001. He finished with 267 voting points that year in finishing sixth.
Spiller’s point total of 223 was the third most for a sixth-place finisher since 1973. Byron Hanspard of Texas Tech had just 15 first place votes, but 251 voting points in 1996.
Spiller joined a lot of celebrated players who have gone on to outstanding NFL careers with the sixth place finish in the Heisman voting. Other sixth-place finishers include Bobby Layne of Texas (1947), Alan Ameche of Wisconsin (1953), Mike Ditka of Pittsburgh (1960), Dick Butkus of Illinois (1963), Bill Fralic of Pittsburgh (1984), Chris Spielman of Ohio State (1987), Warren Sapp of Miami (1994), Peyton Manning of Tennessee (1995), Michael Vick of Virginia Tech (2000), Matt Leinart of Southern California (2003), and A.J. Hawk of Ohio State (2005).
Spiller had a similar finish to his boyhood idol, Warrick Dunn of Florida State. Spiller wears #28 because that was the number that Dunn wore in college and the NFL. Spiller finished sixth with 26 first-place votes and Dunn finished fifth with 40 first place votes his senior year, 1996.
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