Most Bills fans were celebrating Buffalo's aggressive move up the board Thursday night to select Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall pick in a trade with Cleveland. However, a fellow Clemson alum, who will now be Watkins' teammate in Buffalo, may have been the most excited about the dynamic offensive addition.
"I'm so excited," Bills running back C.J. Spiller told Buffalobills.com. "I'm jumping over hills right now with the pick that we made, not only because he's a great player, but because we went to the same university."
Spiller is all too familiar with the offensive exploits of Sammy Watkins having witnessed his play in person along the Clemson sidelines. He never played with him in college, but routinely attends a game or two each fall since he left Tigertown.
"Just watching him play in person I know the kind of player he is and the work that he puts in," Spiller told Buffalobills.com. "He's very serious about his craft. He's a very talented player on the field. So I'm excited about the pick. I know it's like a dream come true for him and now you've got a bunch of Clemson players on one team."
Spiller along with offensive tackle Chris Hairston and safety Jonathan Meeks are the current Clemson alums on Buffalo's roster. They'll now be joined by arguably the most talented offensive player in the 2014 draft class.
"He's just going to bring another explosive player. He's great when he gets the ball in his hands. He runs crisp routes. He'll open up things more," Spiller said. "Our offense can be real dangerous, but at the same time we've got a lot of work that has to be done. At the end of the day we were still 6-10 and missed the playoffs.
The Bills selected Sammy Watkins with the 4th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Here is a collection of photos of the newest Buffalo Bills wide receiver.
"I'm excited and I'm pretty sure Bills nation is excited about the player that we got. We'll let him enjoy this because he deserves it, but when he starts rookie minicamp next weekend it's time to get back to work so he can help us get back to the playoffs."
Spiller knew from the very beginning of Watkins career that he could be very special. He posted 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman.
"I knew he was going to be one of the greatest ever," said Spiller. "You could just see that determination, his skill set was just apart from everyone else on the field. You could just see it his freshman year. From then on I knew there was a possibility that Clemson was going to lose him early and he did, but it turned out great."
Watkins has sought Spiller's counsel on more than one occasion. One of the latest instances was when Clemson played at Syracuse last fall, a game that Spiller attended watching from the Clemson sideline.
"I was up there. I was able to watch him. I was able to speak to him and he was still focused and knew what he was there to do, which was to help his team win and go out and make plays," said Spiller.
"He's a great guy who helped me through my (pre-draft) process, who updated me and it was just a blessing to have him throughout my process at Clemson," said Watkins of Spiller. "Now I'm going to the Buffalo Bills and it's going to be a great journey."
Spiller knew that Watkins had a game that was destined for the NFL, but he could not have imagined a better fit for the proven playmaker than Buffalo.
"He's the fourth pick in the draft and gets picked by a team that he grew up liking and now has the opportunity to play for them. It's a dream come true for him," Spiller said. "I'm ecstatic. I'm pretty sure the other offensive guys are also. So we're all excited. We just have to get back to work now. I love all the pieces that Doug (Whaley) and coach Marrone have put together so we can make the playoffs and we're going to do everything necessary to do that."