CLEMSON — Dabo Swinney knew Trevor Lawrence was going No. 1 overall to Jacksonville in the NFL Draft, and he had a suspicion Travis Etienne might end up there as well.
Clemson’s head coach watched Lawrence get selected with the top pick at the star quarterback’s draft party last month, then headed home to watch the rest of the first round.
When the Steelers passed on Etienne at No. 24 overall, selecting Alabama running back Najee Harris instead, Swinney told family members Etienne was headed to the Jaguars.
“I had a feeling that if he was there at 25 they were gonna take him,” Swinney said on 105.5 The Roar earlier this week. “I had a strong feeling there. I didn’t know if he was gonna be there. I really thought he might go to the Steelers.”
Swinney couldn’t be happier to see his star backfield duo land together in Jacksonville.
He believes that with Etienne teaming up with the top overall pick in Lawrence, he won’t have to deal with some of the pressure that most first-round picks feel.
“It’s like the perfect scenario for Trav,” Swinney said. “He’s got that long-haired blonde that’s out in front and going to deal with all that stuff. And Travis can just go play ball. He has instant chemistry with Trev. It’s just really cool that they can do it together and continue what they started here at Clemson.”
During their three years together at Clemson, the Tigers won three ACC titles, reached the College Football Playoff all three years and won the 2018 national title.
Lawrence leaves Clemson as the all-time winningest quarterback in school history, while Etienne was named the ACC Player of the Year twice and is the ACC’s all-time leading rusher.
Swinney believes that the two will have plenty of success in the NFL as well after historically great college careers.
“It’s just awesome. It really is. It’s just one of the coolest things,” Swinney said. “They’re gonna ball, and I can’t wait to let them have a little time and get some feedback from Urban (Meyer). He’s gonna love these guys.”