Clemson running back Travis Etienne shined at the running back position against Boston College, carrying the ball for two touchdowns, including a 50-yard touchdown run in the Tigers win over Boston College this past Saturday.
Despite the limited amount of playing time he has received so far this season, the true freshman has taken advantage of each opportunity he has been given, rushing for 292 yards in three game appearances.
Etienne rushed for 113 yards and scored two touchdowns on just nine carries against the Eagles.
Question: Coach (Tony) Elliot said you made a slight adjustment on the block and that’s what he wants to see for you to get more playing time. How hard have you been working on that?
Etienne: “I put a lot of time in that, just working on my blocking. Running, I’m a running back. I came in knowing I could run but being able to block, that’s where I need to work on and get better. At the end of the day the quarterback is the face of the team and I need to protect him to make those drives. Just working on that has propelled me to a level I need to go.”
Question: What does it say about the coaches’ belief in you already as a freshman when it’s the fourth quarter, it’s a tight game, and they need someone to make a play and here comes a true freshman that just explodes? What does that say about their confidence in you?
Etienne: “It says a lot, just all the hard work that we’ve been putting in since I got here. Everyone. We all put in the work. Having coaches who trust me, that’s what I came here for from Day One Coach (Dabo) Swinney and Coach Elliot trusted me to make plays and them trusting me just boosts my confidence. Knowing they have my back helps me go out there and play.”
Question: How did it feel to do it with your own crowd, break off that 50-yard run, and to hear the crowd?
Etienne: “It felt great. The best experience I’ve had so far just being able to make big plays for my team and just being able to do that. Coach Elliot put me in the right spot today.”
Question: You said earlier this week that you had to make the most out of your opportunities. What more can you do with the opportunities you have? Do you feel you have proven yourself so far?
Etienne: “No sir, not yet. There’s a lot of plays I could’ve done more; I could’ve gotten the extra yard and I could’ve just done something more. I just have to keep practicing each week and get better in situations. I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m getting there and working hard every week.”
Question: Are spin moves something you practice?
Etienne: “Yes sir. This is something Coach Elliot works on with me every once in a while.”
Question: Tavien says you’re deferring credit to him for all the runs that you’ve had.
Etienne: “Oh of course. Him, C.J. (Fuller) and Adam (Choice) in the first quarter they went down and coming into this game we knew it was going to be a game between the trenches and they just kept pounding and pounding and getting the defense tired and then letting me go out there fresh. With them wearing them down, I get to go out there fresh and they open things for me.”
Question: You talked after the Kent State game about the camaraderie between you guys and it’s easy to see you four have that right now.
Etienne: “Yeah it’s really great and I love that we have that. We all just help each other get better in our games sometimes they ask me even with just hitting the hole they ask me something and I go to them a lot more than they come to me with the blocking and stuff like that. We are really building a brotherhood and I just love that about the running back group.”