C.J. Spiller may be gravitating toward FSU


Published: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 12:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 12:24 p.m.
As the recruiting process grinds on for C.J. Spiller, Florida State's pull seems to grow stronger and stronger for the star running back from Union County.
"Florida State is probably the team to beat," said Spiller, who grew up an FSU fan and feels a strong connection to the Seminoles. "When it all comes down to it, that's my favorite team.
"I wouldn't say they're the leader, but it's going to be hard for the other schools because that's my favorite school and they've been recruiting me the longest of all the schools. It's going to take a lot to pull me away. I'm going to do what's best for me."
Florida will have its chance to try and pry Spiller away from the Seminoles this weekend, when the highly rated running back makes his official visit Sunday and Monday.
Because he has made so many unofficial visits to UF, Spiller had considered not making an official one to Gainesville, but then recently changed his mind.
"I thought it was necessary to make an official visit to Florida," he said. "I felt I should give them a fair chance like the other schools. It's mostly going to be for my mom. I pretty much know what they have to offer. My Mom, she's OK with Florida."
Spiller has already visited Southern Cal and his final visit will be to Florida State on Jan. 27. Next weekend, he said he will visit either Clemson or Miami.
Spiller will announce his decision at a school assembly Feb. 1, national signing day. But he said he likely will know his destination after his visits to Florida and Clemson or Miami.
"I'll probably know after my next two visits," he said. "If I knew it right now, I'd probably go ahead and announce."
Spiller doesn't sound as enthusiastic about Florida as he did a few weeks ago, but that may be because he is growing weary of the recruiting process.
"It's starting to wear me down," he said. "Florida has a great academic school and the coaches over there are having a great recruiting class coming in and the (current) players are OK. I know I'm going to have to compete wherever I go."
Spiller has struck up a friendship with Florida commitment Tim Tebow, who is already enrolled at UF. Spiller said he hasn't talked to Tebow since the two played in last Saturday's U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio.
"We haven't talked since I got back," Spiller said.
  • NOTE: City College of San Francisco linebacker Larry Grant, a UF commitment, will not be allowed to enroll at UF this semester because he failed a math course required to attend an SEC school. Grant said he will try to pass the course this winter and enroll at UF as soon as he can. He already has a degree from CCSF and still could enroll immediately at another school outside the SEC. He is considering taking a visit to Ohio State and possibly one Texas A&M. ... Reserve Florida defensive tackle Julian Riley has received his release from UF and is considering transferring to South Florida. ... In other news involving local prospects, Union County linebacker/defensive end Kevin Alexander said he will visit Clemson this weekend and Tennessee next weekend. He visited Louisville last weekend. He said he will make a decision on a final visit between North Carolina State and Auburn in the near future. A lifelong Florida fan whose brother Bennie was a Gator cornerback in the mid-to-late 1990s, Alexander still has hopes UF will make a late offer. ... Union County tight end Kasey Nobles and linebacker Brendan Odom said they will visit Rice this weekend, and Nobles added he is in the process of setting up trips to Valdosta State and Central Florida. Odom said he is planning on making additional visits to Bethune-Cookman (where teammate Willie Oliver, a defensive end, has committed) and Florida A&M. ... Eastside running back/safety Tim Shankle said he doesn't have a scholarship offer yet, but added N.C. State receivers coach Dwayne Dixon has said he is hoping the Wolfpack will be able to offer one. Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic also have entered the picture.
    You can reach Robbie Andreu at 374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com.
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