Travis Etienne spoke with the media Monday evening as Clemson wrapped up its seventh day of spring practice.
Etienne spoke about his mentality, his confidence, what he plans to work on and how he plans to maintain his success for the 2018 season. The freshman, who led the Tigers with 766 yards and 13 touchdowns last fall, has set his goals for the spring … grasp the whole playbook and work on his ability to react, especially in pass protection.
“Last year, I didn’t even know what a press was,” he said. “I had no idea what I was reading. Now, I know the differences between the schemes. I know where to hit (the hole), when to hit it and when I need to be patient.”
Throughout the spring so far, Etienne mentality has been to bring it each and every play.
“Everyone is fighting for a spot. You definitely want to stand out to the coach and show them that you have learned from the season,” he said.
The Jennings, La., native says he feels more comfortable coming into the spring with a full season already under his belt.
When spring practice is over Etienne stressed that an aspect of the game he was going to work on was his pass blocking.
“I want to be able to read the defense better and to be able to get out of my routes quicker,” he said.
He says that the key to pass blocking is the mentality and just wanting to do it.
“You have to know where to fit and you have to be able to communicate with your line,” Etienne said. “It’s all about mentality.”
The rising sophomore also wants to up his weight to be at 205 pounds by the fall, he now weighs in at 200 pounds.
Etienne and fellow running back Tavien Feaster have moved up to the position of “top dogs” among the running backs. Etienne sees this as a leadership opportunity to be a mentor to the younger players.
“I try to lead by example,” he said. “Tavien and I don’t really say much, we just go out to practice and we give it our all. Hopefully, they will go out there follow us and we can start a trend.”
After the season he had last year as a true freshman, Etienne smiled when he was asked if he surprised himself at all.
“No” he said. “I knew I was capable of a lot. I have been doing it for so long that its natural. I just go out there and play.”