Will Spiers – Family Tradition – The Clemson Tigers Official Athletics Site
Note: The following appears in the Boston College Football Game Schedule.
To say that Will Spiers has a multitude of family ties to Clemson would be an understatement. The Tiger graduate bettor remembers spending many Fall Saturdays at Clemson football games growing up, with both parents and many other family members attending college.
His father, Bill, played football and baseball for the Tigers before pursuing a 13-year career in the MLB. He was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2007 and returned to school through the Tiger Trust program to serve as the senior assistant to the offensive and special teams for the football program. His grandfather, Bud, and his uncle, Michael, also played baseball for the Tigers. The Cameron, SC native was raised wearing orange and purple with a burning desire to follow in his family’s footsteps.
“I knew I wanted to come to Clemson since I was little because we always came to family games,” said Spiers. “But when it comes to football, I went to Coach (Dabo) Swinney’s camp in my sophomore year (of high school). It was my first dive in front of the coaches here.
However, Spiers didn’t just take snaps as a punter at Calhoun Academy, he was also the team’s quarterback. Plus, as the son of a former MLB infielder, he followed the same two-sport trail as his father and played baseball in high school. In fact, Spiers considered a few opportunities to pursue baseball at the college level. But it was his punting lessons from his father, who was the Tigers punter in 1986, that most influenced him as a young athlete.
“I always punted growing up because my dad taught me at a young age. Then, in my senior year, I was offered a prime spot at Clemson, which made my decision easier. I thought joining the football team was the best path for me.
As a freshman in 2016, Spiers donned a red shirt and took the year to develop as a punter. As soon as fall camp began the following season, Swinney informed the team that whoever would win the starting bettor position would not only be on the roster, but would receive a scholarship. Spiers saw his opportunity, seized it and never looked back.
After securing the job, Spiers was the starter for five consecutive seasons and broke the school’s career debut record with his 58th Sept. 11 against South Carolina State. But that’s not the only record he’s breaking.
At the start of the 2021 season, Spiers already held school records for career punts (211), opponent’s inside punts 20 (81), and yards for punts (9,483). ). His performances on the pitch have earned him recognition as a semi-finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy in 2020, which is awarded to the Most Outstanding Player to begin his college career as a walk-on. In order for Spiers to reach this point, he recognized that the key to his progress was to master his craft and establish consistency.
“When I first got here I was just an athlete who could punt. I really had to learn to be a punter specifically. Each year I have developed more and more as a punter, both technically and physically. I learned to kick the right way and become more consistent.
Spiers carried this success to the classroom as well, as his grades earned him many academic accolades. He was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in each of his first five seasons (2016-20) and received All-ACC Academic Honors three times, becoming one of 19 players in the history of Clemson to receive this honor three times. This value for academic success is a priority that came out of the Spiers family, as he referred to his upbringing and parents placing importance on grades as a source of motivation.
In addition, Spiers serves as an ambassador for the PAW Journey initiative, which encourages student-athletes in the football program to develop their leadership skills and focus on personal growth. In his sixth year on the team, Spiers saw his maturity and experience through PAW Journey serve as crucial factors in establishing his voice.
“It was awesome. I joined him during my junior year and it’s a great leadership role. It’s a way of taking a leadership initiative, using my voice and being a voice within the team to communicate different things. With age you become a leader, but it doesn’t take a senior to be a leader. You just need to develop the right skills, and PAW Journey has made it possible for me to do that.
Spiers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in construction science and management in December, but he didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the NCAA’s blanket eligibility waiver. He saw the opportunity as a “free year” of college football and a chance to further improve his punting skills while competing for the championships with the Tigers. While his personal future remains somewhat uncertain, Spiers has prepared for whatever he can hold and is aiming for constant improvement.
“For this season, I’m trying to be the best version of myself possible. I also want to help this team in any way I can to be successful and achieve all of our team’s goals. Then after the season, I’m going to pursue the NFL and train. “
Spiers is hoping for the opportunity to prove himself on an NFL team, in the same way he did as a replacement at Clemson. But for now, he’s just happy to take the field as Tiger and proudly wear the Spiers surname on his back.