Photo of C.J. Spillman
C.J. Spillman (FS)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 197
College: Marshall
Conference: Conference USA
Hometown: Louisville, KY
High School: Central
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It will be tough to break into the top tier of safety talent in the 2009 draft, but Spillman has the physical tools to do just that. Last year's second-team All-Conference USA pick was part of 131 tackles (66 solo) and broke up six passes as a junior. Spillman could become one of the "combo" safeties NFL teams are looking for, as he has the toughness to make the hit along with some speed and coverage skills. If he proves this versatility in 2008, avoiding the dreaded "'tweener" label, he could make it into the top three rounds.

High School

Graduated from Louisville Central High where he was a standout running back before moving to the defensive backfield...An all-state and all-conference selection in high school...Led team in interceptions...Also lettered three years in track...Coached by Steve Serutte and John Shuman.

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Positives: Solid free safety prospect with adequate size and good speed. Good backpedal, stays low and shows quick feet. Has fluid hips and short-area quickness to handle man coverage when needed. Can make a play in the air, high-pointing the ball. Comes downhill to hit receivers coming over the middle. Closes quickly on ballcarriers from the deep defensive backfield. Willing to take on fullback block to force play inside. Forces fumbles by putting a shoulder on the ball or stripping after the ballcarrier is held up. Gunner on special teams due to his size, speed and toughness.

Negatives: Will take false steps on play-action, but recovers adequately. Willing to hit a receiver off the line, but doesn't always use his hands to win the physical battle. Doesn't get off receiver blocks often enough. Must improve his hands for making an interception. More of a hitter than a form tackler, although he can wrap up on occasion. Will freelance, losing discipline to stay deeper than the deepest receiver.

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