Clemson’s most recent commit, RB Travis Etienne was a critical get out of Louisiana. Etienne is listed as 5’11 210 and has a 4.43 40 time. Ideally he fills the big bruiser back role that Clemson is going to lack with the departure of Wayne Gallman. Clemson came to Etienne late when it became apparent there would be a scholarship available because of the transfer of Tyshon Dye. Despite this, Clemson was able to secure his commitment after only 2 weeks. The Tigers beat out LSU for his services, though Tennessee was also in the running originally.
This was a critical signing because of numbers. Obviously Etienne has talent, but without him Clemson would only have 3 RBs plus a talented walk on in Darien Rencher. That’s a problem at RB where injuries can accumulate quickly.
As for Etienne, he gives you a mixture of the two common types of RB. He is big enough to eventually run between the tackles but has enough speed to be a threat outside. Wayne Gallman is what you hope Etienne eventually becomes and he is an easy comparison. Both needed to learn how to run in a spread offense and run between the tackles. Etienne’s high school offense gets him running to the perimeter more than between the tackles. Etienne also runs a bit upright like Gallman.
This was such an important get for Clemson late in the process. Clemson couldn’t afford to not get a quality back and go three years with only taking one RB. Etienne is a quality pickup this late in the process. If LSU wants a prospect from the state of Louisiana, well, I don’t care where that prospect is ranked. If there were another round or cycle of recruiting list adjustments then Etienne would have gotten a sizable bump. Don’t forget that Bama also had interest in Etienne if they missed on Najee Harris. There is a lot of like about the prospect to like.
Coming out of a Wing-T offense Etienne will need to work on being a complete back—blocking, running routes, and developing vision as a runner. He will need to run with a bit more lean, falling forward and breaking tackles. There will be an acclimation period for the recruit, but he has a lot of plus tools. He has the athleticism, size and speed you want at the position.