Last year, Travis Etienne became Clemson’s all-time leading rusher, while setting ACC career records in rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns.
This past January, Etienne stunned everyone when he announced he was returning to Clemson for his senior year. Not only will he earn his degree this coming December, but now the Jennings, La., native will have an opportunity to not just be the greatest running back in Clemson history, but in ACC history, too.
Through the years, Clemson has had some great running backs. Of course, C.J. Spiller comes to mind, as does Raymond Priester, James Davis, Terry Allen, Kenny Flowers, Terrence Flagler, and the list goes on and on.
In all, four Clemson running backs have earned All-American honors, starting with Joel Wells back in 1955. Flagler (1986), Spiller (2009) and Etienne (2018 &’19) are the others.
Four times a Clemson running back has earned ACC Player of the Year honors. Buddy Core did it in 1967, while Spiller did it 2009. Etienne of course did in 2018 and last year. He joined quarterback Steve Fuller as the only two players in Clemson history to win the ACC Player of the Year Award in back-to-back seasons.
Obviously, the magic number for Clemson running backs is four because it also marks the number of Clemson running backs who were named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year. Chuck McSwain won the honor in 1979, while Allen earned it in 1987. Ronald Williams was the Rookie of the Year in 1990 and then Davis in 2005.
In all, 19 Clemson running backs have earned First-Team All-ACC honors. Seven of those—Wells (1955, ’56), Gore (1967, ’68), Allen (1987, ’88), Davis (2006, ’07), Spiller (2008, ’09) and Etienne (2018, ’19) did it twice. Etienne will have the opportunity to be the first Clemson running back to earn such an honor three times in his career.
Clemson’s running back tradition By the Numbers
1: Former Clemson great Bill Mathis became the first former Tiger to win a Super Bowl when he helped the New York Jets win Super Bowl III.
5: Marks the number of consecutive years Clemson had a first-team or second-team All-ACC running back from 2005-’09. James Davis or C.J. Spiller earned a spot on those five teams.
6: Is the number of Clemson running backs who have led the ACC in rushing.
7: Is the number of years Clemson had a running back rush for 1,000 yards since the start of the 2011 season.
13: Is the number of times Clemson has had a running back on the All-ACC team in the last 14 years.
24: Is the number of rushing touchdowns by Travis Etienne in 2018, a Clemson single-season record.
26: The number of total touchdowns scored by Travis Etienne in 2018, which ties an ACC record for one season.
56: The number of rushing touchdowns by Travis Etienne in a career, an ACC record.
62: The number of total career touchdowns by Travis Etienne, an ACC record.
1,658: The number of rushing yards by Travis Etienne in 2018, a single-season record at Clemson.
4,038: The number of rushing yards by Travis Etienne in his career, a Clemson record.
7,588: The number of career all-purpose yards by C.J. Spiller in his four years at Clemson, the fourth highest total in NCAA history and 1,700 more than any other player in ACC history.
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