Etienne holds steady as NFL Draft approaches

Etienne holds steady as NFL Draft approaches


Etienne holds steady as NFL Draft approaches


There are some that thing Clemson running back Travis Etienne could fall into the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of the month.

However, the folks at Pro Football Focus do not think so.

The PFF Draft still list the ACC’s all-time leading rusher as the best running back in the draft.

Etienne completed one of the most prolific careers in Clemson, ACC and college football history across the 2017-20 seasons, rushing for 4,952 yards with 70 rushing touchdowns to go with 102 receptions for 1,155 yards and eight receiving scores in 55 games.

The Jennings, La., native is the NCAA FBS record-holder for most career games scoring a touchdown (46) and the ACC career record-holder for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns (78) and points scored (468).

The progression that Etienne – who checked in at 5-foot-10, 215 pounds at Clemson’s Pro Day last month – made from a physical standpoint as well as an all-around player over the course of his college career is evident to anyone who watched him.

“On the field, it really speaks for itself,” he said. “You’ve just seen my body transition each and every year, and just me continuing to grow and be better each and every year.”

Etienne credits his former running backs coach and current Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, along with Clemson’s staff as a whole, for pushing him to not only become a better player but also a better person.

“I just want to shout out the coaches and staff, just for off the field,” Etienne said. “Coach Elliott really just challenging me to be a better man, and I feel like that goes hand in hand with on the field.”

Reflecting on the day of January 26, 2017, when Etienne committed to Clemson over LSU and declared he would play at “the real Death Valley” — it was, as he has said, the best decision he could have made as an 18-year-old.

“I’m just very grateful that I came here,” he said, “and just trusted in Coach and he gave me the opportunity.”

The 2021 NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland on April 29-May 1.

–Gavin Oliver contributed to this story

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