Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is excited to have Travis Etienne back in his position room for one more season. But as happy as he is to have the two-time ACC Player of the Year running the football for the Tigers’ once again, he is even more excited for the reasons Etienne decided to return to school.
On Friday, Etienne decided to return to Clemson for his senior season instead of jumping to the NFL. It was big news for a Clemson offense that already has quarterback Trevor Lawrence, wide receiver Justyn Ross and tight end Braden Galloway coming back.
“I am really excited first and foremost for Travis,” Elliott said via Clemson Football’s Official Twitter account on Saturday. “He really had a [tough] decision to make, but I am just proud of him for looking inside and figuring out what he really wanted from his experience and what he wanted from his future.
“Things that are important to him is getting his education and having an opportunity to go out on top. So, I am really happy for him, but it is just a testament to our culture and our environment. He has had such a great college experience here.”
Etienne has already been a part of three ACC Championship teams that advanced to the College Football Playoff, as well as two teams that played for the national championship, including the Tigers’ win over Alabama in the 2019 title game.
This past Monday, he and the Tigers lost to LSU in the national championship game at the Superdome in New Orleans, not too far from his hometown on Jennings, La.
“He loves his brothers, but more importantly, he went through the process the right way and made a decision for the right reasons and he values his education,” Elliott said. “He understands that football is a big part of his life, but it will go away at some point. But his education will always be there.”
Etienne, a true junior, is expected to graduate from Clemson next December. On the football field, he already owns just about every Clemson rushing record in the book and now he has an opportunity to re-write the record books in the ACC, as well.
The 5-10, 210-pound running back is just 565 yards shy of breaking the ACC’s all-time rushing record and 795 yards short of becoming the conference’s all-time leader in yards from scrimmage. He already holds the ACC records for total touchdowns in a single season and a career, as well as rushing touchdowns in a career.
Etienne’s Clemson & ACC records
- 4,038 rushing yards, Clemson record
- 62 total touchdowns, Clemson & ACC record
- 56 rushing touchdowns, Clemson & ACC Record
- 1,658 rushing yards (2018), Clemson single season record
- 24 rushing touchdowns (2018), Clemson single season record
- 26 total touchdowns (2018), Clemson and ties ACC single-season record
- 8.1 yards per carry (2018), highest per carry average in ACC history
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