CLEMSON — Former Calhoun Academy standout and current punter for the No. 2 Clemson Tigers Will Spiers understands exactly what the rivalry game with the South Carolina Gamecocks means because his family has been a part of it for his entire life.
Bud Spiers, Will’s grandfather, was a shortstop on the first Tiger baseball team to make a trip to the College World Series in 1958 and was the first of former baseball coach Bill Wilhelm’s players to sign a professional contract. His father, Bill, came next to Clemson, playing for Wilhelm on the baseball diamond and for Danny Ford as a punter on the football field.
The Spiers legacy continued as Michael Spiers followed Bill, and in 1991 was named the MVP of the ACC Baseball Tournament and was a top player on the 1991 College World Series team that won a school-record 61 games.
“Yeah, nobody in my family really cares for them. Well there were those five years that weren't too good," Spiers said. "I remember going back to school those next Mondays (after losing to the Gamecocks). That was never fun. But there are definitely some good ones. My junior and senior year were the first two that we won after the five and those are some good ones to bounce back from that.”
'One you live with'
Don’t ask Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney if this week’s game against the Gamecocks matters with an ACC championship looming because he fully understands what this game means to the state, the players and the coaches.
”Means the same to me that it means to everyone else in this state -- the state championship,” Swinney said. “It would mean we were 12-0 if we won. You live with this one for 365 days. We can't be 12-0 if we don't take care of business this week. This is a goal of its own, a season of its own.”
Herbstreit(s) coming to Clemson
ESPN football analyst Kirk Herbstreit is no stranger to Clemson University or head coach Dabo Swinney, but he will get to know the ins and outs of the Tiger program even more in the coming years.
That is because his two oldest sons (twins) will both be playing their college football for the Tigers.
Jake (safety) and Tye (wide receiver) Herbstreit will join the Tigers’ next season as preferred walk-ons, Herbstreit told Fox News 17 in his hometown of Nashville.
“I'll have [son] Zak playing [at Montgomery Bell Academy) as a junior, and Jake and Tye going over to Clemson," Herbstreit said. "We'll have to cross that bridge (of how to deal with his television schedule) when we get to it. These are all really good problems to have. My goal is to be there for anything I can be.”