Travis Etienne: Little Popeye

There’s a lovable quality in most people, especially when they are genuine and kind.

With former Clemson record breaking running back Travis Etienne, there’s several more reasons. No doubt, he loves his grandmother’s cooking and he loves him some Popeyes Chicken.

A native of Jennings, La, Etienne was a much loved young man by family and friends alike. He was a hometown football hero.

He was extremely honest in telling all listening, how difficult it was for a self-proclaimed momma’s boy and grandmomma’s boy to leave home. Everybody loves home and Etienne loves Jennings.

I remember hearing that as a freshman, Etienne was struggling with a severe case of homesickness. However, over time and a few highly anticipated trips home, some of that subsided. There was one interview he gave after returning from spring break that still makes me laugh.

Asked about how he came back to Clemson carrying eight extra pounds, his response was typical southern. His grandmother had cooked all of his favorites and there was a lot of his all-time favorite, Popeyes Cajun Chicken. You could almost see the twinkle in his eyes by merely uttering the word “Popeyes.”

Those within the Clemson fan base watched as this young man excelled, beginning in his freshman season on his way to becoming the ACC’s all time leading rusher.

It was always amazing to see him run, catch and on several occasions, even pass. He was instrumental in Clemson’s 2018 national championship. Like Wayne Gallman before him, he did the No.9 Jersey and the Paw that adorned it, justice.

After his record breaking, illustrious career ended, he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round, with the 25th pick. He was going to join fellow Clemson great Trevor Lawrence. After a pre-season injury he was unable to participate during his rookie season. While frustrating, we all know he will come back stronger than ever.

His family is now living nearby and he has his grandmother’s good cooking and his favorite, Popeyes Chicken to nourish him back to health. He has a lot going for him and why shouldn’t he? Yes, there are some people that are just a little more lovable and Travis Etienne is one of those special people.

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