Commentary

Mel's Personnel Points: Spilling talent

The C.J. Spiller debate, an Illini on the rise, a local for the Steelers to eye and more

Updated: October 5, 2009, 6:13 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN.com

Every week I spend a lot of time studying tape from the weekend games. Personnel Points will bring up numbers, but mainly, it's meant to evaluate players with respect to a possible future in the NFL.

Getty Images He doesn't dominate in any one area, but C.J. Spiller is complete, and explosive.

A week after becoming just the second player in college football history to amass 2,500 rushing yards, 1,000 receiving yards, 1,500 kickoff return yards and 500 punt return yards (Reggie Bush was the other), Clemson senior RB C.J. Spiller now holds the distinction of being the ACC's career leader in all-purpose yards. I get asked a lot what I see in Spiller and one thing I know is this: The ability to put six points on the board in an instant in a variety of ways (he has scored a touchdown as a rusher, receiver, kickoff returner and punt returner this season) is what makes him so highly thought of in NFL circles. That ability was on display over the weekend against Maryland.

The Terps had taken a 24-13 lead with under five minutes to go in the third quarter and had done a very good job of limiting Spiller's effectiveness up to that point. But on cue, he proceeded to take the ensuing kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown, and after a two-point conversion the Tigers found themselves right back in the thick of things at 24-21. While his 4.3 yards per carry for the season is rather pedestrian, he is averaging 15.7 yards per catch, 37.8 yards on kick returns and 30.0 yards on punt returns. Spiller lacks the size (5-foot-11, 198 pounds) to be a primary ball carrier at the next level, but he has the attributes necessary to become a key weapon on offense in the NFL as well as a major asset on special teams.

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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst