Tifton Gazette

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July 5, 2012

Buffalo Bill C.J. Spiller coming to Tifton

TIFTON — On Saturday, July 14, C.J. Spiller will be at Tift County High School to talk to youth about their futures, though all ages are invited to attend.

Spiller is a member of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, where he was drafted ninth overall in the 2010 draft.

Spiller played his college football with the Clemson Tigers, where he was First-team All-ACC twice and a unanimous All-American as a senior in 2009.

Spiller, which has his No. 28 retired by the school, was also the ACC Player of the Year during his senior season.

He also starred as a member of the track team at Clemson., being named an All-American in both indoor and outdoor track and field events during his junior and senior seasons.

“I want to talk with the youth about getting an education and staying with the right people and being in the right situations,” said Spiller in an interview with The Gazette. “I just want to tell my story to them. I want to be real with them, that’s important with young kids, you have to be the real you.”

Spiller grew up two hours south of Tifton, attending Union County High School in Lake Butler, Fla. He was ranked as the top player in Florida, the No. 1 running back in the country, and the No. 8 player overall as a senior, where he rushed for 1,840 yards on 176 carries, scoring touchdowns on 30 of those touches. He is excited to be back in the area to visit with friends and family, but noted that he isn’t here on vacation, he is here with work to do and also must stay in shape preparing for training camp.

“It’s great being able to come back to the part of the country where I’m from,” he said. “It’s nice to come back and give them hope that they can have a bright future. So many kids don’t have that growing up, I didn’t have it. As I got older I decided I wanted to come back here so that I can be a positive role model for them. I want them to hear from someone who has made it and let them know that if they put in hard work and do the things that they need to do that they can be successful as well.”

Spiller will take the time to answer questions from some of the youth once he has finished talking.

“I’m definitely going to take the time to answer some questions from the kids. Anything I can do to have a positive impact I am going to,” said Spiller.

The event, which is hosted by Commissioner Melissa Chevers and the Tift County Athletic Department, will begin at 11 a.m.

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