It wasn’t that long ago that running back C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills was running back C.J. Spiller of Union County High School in Lake Butler, Florida. In high school, Spiller dominated his opponents, rushing for 5,511 yards and scoring 93 touchdowns. One of the highlights of Spiller’s prep career was playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2006, a showcase game for the top high school players in the country. In 2011, Spiller returned to San Antonio, Texas, home of the All-American Bowl, to put this year’s crop of high school phenoms through a speed workout. SIKIDS.com caught up with Spiller after the workout to find out what he thought of the up-and-comers, his new sneakers, and his goals for the 2011 NFL season. Check out the interview and photos after the jump.
Q. How did the workout go?
A. It feels great to be back in San Antonio. I can’t believe it’s been five years that have passed by already. It feels great to watch these guys go through these drills. I remember doing the same thing when I was up in Indianapolis getting ready for the NFL Combine.
Q. What do you remember most from your experience in the All-American Bowl?
A. Building friendships, meeting great people. I told the guys to build friendships. That’s what I did with my roommate [Tennessee Titans practice squad player Myron Rolle]. This is the best high school bowl game to play in. To me, it’s lke playing in the Pro Bowl.
Q. Were there any speedy players that you saw?
A. There’s some guys that’s running. They’re looking really good. They’re [also] getting bigger every year.
Spiller looks on as U.S. Army All-Americans go through drills (Photo: Alamo City Photography/adidas)
Q. How does your new shoe help your game?
A. The adidas adizero 5-Star is the lightest cleat [6.9 ounces] ever made. When you’re a fast guy you always want to have a fast cleat. It’s great durability and you can cut great in it. And it looks good. I was able to play in the cleat to finish off [the 2010 season] against the Jets and I felt the difference.
Q. Did your teammates notice your new shoes?
A. Oh, yeah, without a doubt. As soon as I pulled it out on game day, some of the running backs were like, “Oh, man. You’ve got to get me a pair of them for next year. “I let them feel it and they were like, “Man, that’s light.”
Q. How did you feel your rookie season went?
A. I felt great. I came out healthy. We definitely didn’t come out as a team the way we wanted—without the making the playoffs. But we’re in the building process. Once we get all the pieces we need, we’ll definitely be a team to look out for.
Q. What do you want to work on in the off-season?
The biggest thing is patience. Becoming more of a student of the game. Understanding what my offensive line is trying to do. Understanding what other people are doing like the receivers. Getting stronger to be able to do those blitz pickups and stuff like that.
Spiller shares some insight with the All-Americans about life in the NFL and training. (Photo: Alamo City Photography/adidas)