In his first year of spring practice, running back, Travis Etienne feels more confident than ever.
Etienne burst on to the scene as a true freshman with his unbelievable athleticism.
Because he came to Clemson last July, the Jennings, La., native was basically thrown into the deep end the second he stepped on campus.
“This spring has really been helpful to me just getting a clear understanding of what is going on. Just being able to have the experience from last season and this spring to learn from is huge,” Etienne said. “I am able to evaluate myself through practice and just knowing what I am doing now is really helpful.”
For 11 years, nobody could break former running back, C.J. Spiller’s freshman record for touchdowns at Clemson. Etienne said he was constantly hearing Spiller’s name on a day-to-day basis.
However, this all changed when Clemson played The Citadel in the 2017 season. Etienne broke Spiller’s record with his 11th rushing touchdown. He finished the year with 13.
With the Spring Game coming up on April 14, the Tigers have two-team scrimmages under their belts. Etienne’s confidence is clear and it is obvious that he has improved even more through spring practice.
“Just my mindset now… I used to think everything was going to be given to me and now I really take advantage of every rep that I am given,” he said. “I give every rep all that I’ve got now and I definitely learned from that I give each play one-hundred percent.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had an abundance of good things to say about the offenses’ performance the past few weeks. Etienne was all smiles, braces and all, after the second full scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon.
“I think this scrimmage was a much better scrimmage for me,” said Etienne after rushing for a team-high 81 yards. “I’m just going out there and really focusing on every play. I have really been able to process everything this spring which has helped me a lot.”
There are a lot of high expectations coming from the coaches as well as Tiger fans this season. The players feel the pressure and are executing accordingly. It is clear that the team is really pushing one another to be the best that they can be.
“Everyone out there is getting better,” Etienne said. “We are working on all of the little things and bettering ourselves each and every day.
“We’re really playing hard against one another, like iron sharpening iron. We go against the ‘ones’ every day and that is only going to help us get even better. We definitely have grown since the first day.”