Travis Etienne: They Like Us Running Backs, But ‘They Love Those Quarterbacks’

Watching Travis Etienne evolve from a one-dimensional back into the every down player he is today has been nothing short of remarkable.

Coming out of an option offense in high school, Etienne was well-versed in running the ball, but not much else when it comes to playing running back at the Power-5 level.

And it didn’t take long for Etienne to realize that if he wanted to be a well-rounded player, he had to master the art of pass blocking. Especially when it is an elite-level player like Trevor Lawrence that needs protecting.

“I mean, to have Trevor Lawrence man, I just got to give him time to get those balls off,” Etienne said after the Clemson Pro Day last week. “Quarterback of the franchise, I have to protect him. They like us, but they love those quarterbacks, so my job is to protect the quarterback protect the football, and I take great pride in that.”

Etienne said that if a running back wants to have any success at the next level, pass protection has to be a priority.

“That’s a skill as a running back now that you definitely have to have,” Etienne said. “I mean if I can’t protect the quarterback, no one’s gonna draft me. so protecting the quarterback is definitely one of the first things that you just have to really hone in and focus in on.”

Clemson’s all-time leading rusher also made note of the fact that playing with Lawrence made him thrive to be better and that the time the two spent on the field together is something he will always remember fondly.

“Just the competition that we have in the locker room,” Etienne said. “Just a camaraderie, the brotherhood that we really built together. I feel like that just really translated onto the field. Then you just seen us out there just playing free and having fun with each other, and then it goes back to the locker room. Just those times that we shared together, I forever will cherish that.”

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