CLEMSON — The National Football Foundation announced that Clemson legend C.J. Spiller has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2021.
Spiller earned the distinction in only his second year of eligibility.
Spiller is one of 11 players and two coaches in the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class selected from the national ballot. The class will be officially inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 alongside the 2020 Hall of Fame Class, whose ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19.
Spiller becomes Clemson's eighth inductee in the College Football Hall of Fame. John Heisman, who coached Clemson from 1900-03, was Clemson's first inductee as part of the class of 1954. Clemson coach and administrator Jess Neely was inducted in 1971. Frank Howard, Clemson's all-time winningest coach, followed with induction in 1989. Danny Ford, who led Clemson to the 1981 national championship at the age of 33, was Clemson's most recent inductee, entering the Hall in 2017.
Spiller will be the fourth Clemson player to earn induction, joining multi-sport legend Banks McFadden (1959) as well as two members of Clemson's 1981 national championship defense — Terry Kinard (2001) and Jeff Davis (2007).
Spiller's historic Clemson career spanned 2006-09, culminating with a senior season in which he finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting after winning ACC Player of the Year and being selected as a unanimous first-team All-American. That season, Spiller scored 21 touchdowns and became the first player in ACC history to gain 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season.
Spiller, whose No. 28 is retired at Clemson, was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame this past fall and is also slated for induction into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame this spring. The 2009 graduate of Clemson University also now serves as a graduate coaching intern at Clemson in addition to serving as a member of the IPTAY Board of Directors.
The full College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is:
- Harris Barton – OT, North Carolina (1983-86)
- David Fulcher – DB, Arizona State (1983-85)
- Dan Morgan – LB, Miami [FL] (1997-2000)
- Carson Palmer – QB, Southern California (1998-2002)
- Tony Romo – QB, Eastern Illinois (1999-2002)
- Kenneth Sims – DT, Texas (1978-81)
- C.J. Spiller – RB/KR, Clemson (2006-09)
- Darren Sproles – RB, Kansas State (2001-04)
- Aaron Taylor – OT, Notre Dame (1990-93)
- Andre Tippett – DE, Iowa (1979-81)
- Al Wilson – LB, Tennessee (1995-98)
- Coach Rudy Hubbard – 83-48-3 (63.1%); Florida A&M (1974-85)
- Coach Bob Stoops – 190-48-0 (79.8%); Oklahoma (1999-2016)
“This truly is a humbling experience. When Coach [Swinney] called me, I honestly didn't know what he was calling about. He gave the whole spiel about how I was his first five-star recruit, his first first-rounder, first Pro Bowler, and he was like, 'Now, big dog, you're my first Hall of Famer,' Spiller said. "I said, 'You're joking. Quit playing.' I was really speechless. But this is through the grace of God, honestly."
"I can't thank [Clemson fans] enough, honestly. I know it's my name that's going in, but the Clemson family is going into the Hall of Fame as well."
Swinney said, "As I told him, he's such a deserving guy. For him to get in on his second attempt is such a compliment to the respect for his college football career. It was an amazing career. I'm just so happy for him and his family, all of his teammates and all of his coaches because C.J. would be the first one to tell you he had a lot of people that helped him along the way."