CLEMSON — Travis Etienne knew there was a chance he could end up in Jacksonville with Trevor Lawrence based on conversations he had with Urban Meyer and the Jaguars throughout the pre-draft process.
Etienne got his wish on Thursday night as Jacksonville took the former Clemson star running back in the first round with the 25th overall pick.
“I’m not even gonna lie to you, I was rooting to come to Jacksonville,” Etienne said. “Never been to Jacksonville, but I’m just so excited and happy for the opportunity I have. To have Trevor there, I feel like he’s going to make that transition much easier. We’re gonna help each other a lot. … I was secretly rooting for Jacksonville.”
Etienne and Lawrence spent three seasons together at Clemson and will now begin their NFL careers together as well. The Tigers went 39-3 during the three years Lawrence and Etienne were teammates, reaching the College Football Playoff all three seasons and winning the 2018 national title.
“They’re winners,” Meyer said. “I have a great relationship with their coach, so I know about as much as you possibly can about Travis and Trevor and the fact that they’re winners. They’re elite competitors. And I still think there’s a lot of wear and tear left on them. Obviously Trevor only played the three years. Travis has played a lot of football, but he’s got a lot left, fast guy, great speed.”
Etienne was special with the ball in his hands throughout his time at Clemson, but he really developed into a complete back as his career went along.
During his senior season, the Louisiana native caught 48 passes for 588 yards, finishing third on the team in receptions and receiving yards. Etienne considered turning pro after his junior year but opted to return to school in hopes of improving his draft stock by showing that he is a three-down back.
The two-time ACC Player of the Year was able to do just that.
“Just very grateful for my decision to come back,” Etienne said. “Clemson was the best four years of my life. I’m just ready and excited to see what else is in store in Jacksonville.”
Etienne is also pumped to be doing so with Lawrence at his side.
“Trev shot me a text and he was like, ‘Let’s go man. Nobody but God,’” Etienne said. “We’re just ready to get together and ready to just keep on improving what we have going so far. We’re just really both excited to keep playing with each other, just really a great blessing. We’re just ready to get to work.”