CLEMSON - C.J. Spiller pulled a stunner when he signed with Clemson. And the junior running back performed an encore today, announcing he has opted to bypass the NFL draft and return for his senior season.
Today was the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.
Numerous people close to Spiller expected him to turn pro Thursday, as a handful of draft analysts projected him as a fringe first-round pick.
The league’s Advisory Committee gave Spiller a first-round grade, and several NFL evaluators predicted his stock would soar after testing at the NFL’s combine next month.
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Spiller’s return changes the dynamic of Clemson’s offense for 2009.
The Tigers lose their starting quarterback, top rusher and top two receivers. But once Dabo Swinney took the reins as coach this past season, Spiller became the focal point.
Spiller, a versatile pass-catching and special teams return threat, owns the school’s career all-purpose yardage record.
As a junior, he rushed for 629 yards and seven touchdowns splitting carries with Davis. Spiller also caught 34 passes for 436 yards and three touchdowns.