When Travis Etienne decided he was returning to Clemson for his senior year, one of the reasons he gave for returning was graduating from college.
On Thursday, the ACC’s two-time Player of the Year and its all-time leading rusher, was able to check the box, as he was one of 43 student-athletes to receive his degree from Clemson University at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C.
“This is a very big moment for me. I am forever grateful,” Etienne said in a video courtesy of Clemson University. “It is an opportunity to change my life and my whole lifestyle going forward. I am forever grateful to be a Clemson graduate.”
During his playing career at Clemson, the running back has rushed for 4,796 yards and needs just 204 yards to become the first 5,000-yard runner in league history. He also holds the FBS record for most career games of scoring at least one touchdown, as well as the ACC record for touchdowns scored and rushing touchdowns in a career.
However, despite all the accolades on the field and being a part of three ACC Championship teams and one national champion so far, Etienne claims his best accomplishment came on Thursday.
“This is definitely number one,” he said. “I had to put a lot of hard work into this one. I am just forever grateful. This trumps all of them.”
Etienne, who earned his degree in sports communications, appreciates his degree and the ability to walk across the stage on Thursday to receive it even more considering all the things he and his teammates have gone through this year during the pandemic.
“This is great. It is great to be here,” he said. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and experience that we get as college graduates, and I am sure everyone here is just as thankful and grateful we get to come here and be here in person and be able to get our diplomas. I feel like everyone here is going to be excited and will remember this forever.”
Etienne hopes to add another accomplishment to his list on Saturday when the third-ranked Tigers play No. 2 Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. A victory will earn Clemson a sixth consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m., and will be televised on ABC.
—photo courtesy of Clemson University
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