LAKE BUTLER, FLORIDA -- Watching C.J. Spiller in person, you can tell right away what all the buzz is about. At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Spiller is one of the best looking running backs in the nation and has already heard from just about every major college in the country. Out of the 20 or so schools that have offered scholarships, Florida State and Florida top his list and it looks like the Sunshine State pair are there to stay.
"He's always been a fan of Florida State," said Union County Head Coach Buddy Nobles. "But Florida has come around a lot lately. You never can tell. He says he wants to go where he can find a good church, so all you in Tallahassee and Gainesville need to find him a good church."
Coach Nobles raves about Spiller not only as a player, but as a person. The Rivals100 member on the other hand is quick to give credit to his teammates. A season ago, Union County finished 12-1, losing to Pensacola Catholic in the state semifinals. As a junior, the speedy tailback put up tremendous numbers running for 1,600 yards and 26 touchdowns. Florida State is looking to sign one high profile running back in this recruiting class and Spiller is the perfect candidate.
"I like their (FSU) spread offense," said Spiller. "You can be in the backfield one minute and then spread out the next. They have a great offense. I grew up an FSU fan. I've always liked Warrick Dunn. I changed my number from 20 to 28 as a freshman, just like Warrick."
With tradition behind him, Florida State should hold the edge. However, his proximity to Gainesville keeps the Gators neck and neck with the Seminoles.
The all-state tailback will narrow his final list down to five by August and says he wants to make his official announcement on signing day. Right now, he continues to go through spring practice which will officially end with the jamboree on May 19th. From now until then, Spiller will continue to perfect his game and try to keep the college coaches at bay.
"Sometimes it's a little overwhelming," said Spiller. "I want to enjoy my senior year. FSU said they want me to bring great leadership and character to the team. I met with the running backs coach the other week, it was great to talk to him."
Comparing Spiller to another runner is hard. He's quick to point out that he's not a scatback like Lorenzo Booker or a smooth slasher back like Leon Washington. In fact, he says his closest comparisons comes from a former 'Cane.
"I get compared to Clinton Portis," said Spiller, "I explode through holes and carry myself off the field."
Lee Gordon is a Sports Anchor/Reporter for WTEV/WAWS in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to that, he was Sports Director at WCTV in Tallahassee for five years. Lee has been in sports broadcasting since 1997 and has covered Florida State athletics for six years. He has been a member of the Warchant.com staff since 2004.