April 22, 2010
Photo Gallery – Spiller at the 2010 NFL Draft | Quotes
Clemson, SC – Former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller was selected in the first round of the 75th Annual NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills on Thursday evening. The first-team All-American was the ninth selection of the entire draft.
Spiller’s selection as the number-nine player in the draft was the sixth highest selection in Clemson history and the highest since Gaines Adams was the number-four selection of the 2007 draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs. He is the highest drafted offensive player from Clemson since Jerry Butler was the number-five selection of the 1979 draft by the same Buffalo Bills. Spiller was the first running back selected and the first ACC player chosen.
The December 2009 Clemson graduate was the first Clemson running back selected in the first round since Terrence Flager in 1987 when he was the #25 selection of the first round by the San Francisco 49ers.
Spiller is the third player from Clemson taken in the first round over the last five years. Tye Hill was the number 15 in the first round by St. Louis in 2006 and Adams was the number-four selection of the draft by Tampa Bay in 2007.
Spiller is the first Clemson player drafted by the Buffalo Bills since 1982 when Perry Tuttle was their first round selection, the #19 pick of the draft. Butler was the last Clemson player taken by the Bills prior to that, so the last three Tigers drafted by the Bills have been first round selections.
In an examination of 20 mock drafts on Wednesday by the Clemson SID office, just one had Spiller going to Buffalo (Alan Caplan of Fox Sports). The selection should not have been a total surprise to Spiller because the Bills flew him to Buffalo for a visit in mid-March, just three days prior to the Clemson basketball team’s visit to Buffalo for the NCAA tournament.
Clemson has had five former players play for the Bills over the years, including Butler, who was a starting wide receiver for the franchise from 1979-87. He was the AFC Rookie of the Year with the Bills in 1979 and is still seventh in Bills history in reception yards and 10th in total receptions.
Spiller was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2009 when he led the Tigers to the Atlantic Division championship of the ACC, and a #24 final AP ranking. He rushed for 1212 yards and had 503 receiving yards to go with five kick returns for touchdowns in 2009 when he was named the ACC Player of the Year. He was the only Division I player to score at least one touchdown in every one of his team’s games last year.
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