It is Etienne’s turn to shine

It is Etienne’s turn to shine

Football

It is Etienne’s turn to shine

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There are a lot of NFL teams who truly would love to land Clemson’s Travis Etienne in the 2021 NFL Draft.

It appears everyone expects Etienne will be selected as one of the first two running back in this year’s draft, but the question is when will he go, and who will pull the trigger? Those are questions that no one can truly answer.

However, Etienne is hoping he can influence those decisions. The two-time ACC Player of the Year told the Sun Sentinel he is the top running back in the draft and whoever takes him will definitely get their money’s worth.

“They’re going to get everything they need,” Etienne said. “A guy that can be out there each and every down, with the ability to play special teams. I feel like I’m unique. I feel like I’m RB1 because of the things I bring to the table. If a team is looking at me, they’ll get the whole package.”

The entire NFL will be looking at Etienne this Thursday when Clemson hosts its annual Pro Day at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson. With Trevor Lawrence’s pro day completed last month, Etienne will be the highlighted player for the 32 NFL clubs.

Thursday will be a big day for the former Clemson star, who could have left for the NFL last year, but decided to return in hopes he could improve a draft grade that had him going in the second or third round in 2020.

Etienne returned and shattered just about every rushing record in the books at Clemson and in the ACC, as he became the league’s all-time leader in career rushing yards (4,952), scoring, total touchdowns (78) and rushing touchdowns (72).

And more importantly, he earned his college degree.

“I definitely feel like it worked out in my favor,” Etienne said. “Just to go back and get my degree, I’ll be forever grateful about that. It definitely panned out better than I expected.”

The All-American also set a Clemson single season receiving record for a running back thanks to his 48 catches for 588 yards and two touchdowns this past year. Etienne also ran for 914 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2021.

“When you break numbers down, I was very productive still. It was kinda of a weird year, but I still had a great year. I’m still very grateful and we still won a lot of games,” Etienne said. “I feel like when you look into that, that’s what makes me unique: my ability to do more with less. Not really demanding the ball each and every play. Just changing the game whenever I touch the ball.”

Etienne rushed for 1,600-plus yards and scored more than 20 touchdowns in each of the previous two seasons. He finished his college career with 102 receptions for 1,115 yards and eight touchdowns.

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