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Counting down the ACC's top 30 players: No. 1

6/26/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

No. 1 C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson, Sr., 5-11, 195

Why he's here: Spiller might be the best all-around player in the ACC, and he could greatly improve his stock from a late first-round pick in the NFL draft this fall. Last year, Spiller was first in all-purpose yards, second in kickoff return yards, second in punt returns, third in touchdowns, and second among ACC running backs in catches per game. He led ACC running backs last year in receiving yards with 436, a school single-season record. If it weren't such a trendy thing for Heisman Trophy winners to return this fall, Spiller might have made his way into the conversation this year. He still could, if the staff puts him in position to finally realize his full potential and the offensive line makes great strides -- which it should.

Spiller is so fast and versatile he has been a record setter at Clemson as a running back, a receiver and a kick returner. He enters his final season as the school's leader in career all-purpose yards with 4,908. He needs just 921 more to become the all-time leader in ACC history. He made the Dean's List last year, he's a track star, and he's scored a touchdown four different ways during his career, including 15-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Grisham at Virginia, the only touchdown of the game.

The knock on Spiller has been his toughness, but some of that can be attributed to the subpar offensive line last year, and he's only missed one game in his career. He'll have to handle the workload solo this year without James Davis to split the carries. Spiller's rushing yards have decreased each of the past three seasons, but he also got the fewest carries (116) of his career last year, and the offensive line was, at times, just plain bad. Still, Spiller is one of the most productive offensive players in the school's history, and he's not done yet.

No. 2 Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
No. 3 Russell Wilson, NC State
No. 4 Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech
No. 5 Thomas Austin, Clemson
No. 6 Darren Evans, Virginia Tech
No. 7 Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech
No. 8 Rodney Hudson, Florida State
No. 9 Willie Young, NC State
No. 10 Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
No. 11 Sean Spence, Miami
No. 12 Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
No. 13 Thaddeus Lewis, Duke
No. 14 Bruce Carter, North Carolina

No. 15 Vince Oghobaase, Duke
No. 16 Stephan Virgil, Virginia Tech
No. 17 Jacoby Ford, Clemson
No. 18 Dekoda Watson, Florida State
No. 19 Nate Irving, NC State
No. 20 Chris Chancellor, Clemson
No. 21 Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech
No. 22 Christian Ponder, Florida State
No. 23 Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
No. 24 Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
No. 25 Sergio Render, Virginia Tech
No. 26 John Russell, Wake Forest
No. 27 Riley Skinner, Wake Forest
No. 28 Vic Hall, Virginia
No. 29 Da'Rel Scott, Maryland
No. 30 Matt Bosher, Miami