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If you’re a worthy fan of the NFL, Travis Etienne Jr. needs no introduction. The running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars has been turning heads with his impressive play in the big leagues during his rookie season and has proven himself a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Ettiene is entering 2022 as a polarizing figure in the world of fantasy football. There’s no denying that he has plenty of potential, but he isn’t without his critics. On one hand, fantasy buffs are preaching his potential for success and on the other they are proclaiming that he will be nothing but a flop.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Etienne Jr.’s journey to the NFL and what makes him such a special player. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Etienne was raised in Jennings, Louisiana, and is of Louisiana Creole ancestry. His father works for an oil well service company in the oil industry, while his mother, Donnetta, is a nurse.
Etienne is still attached to the tastes of home and has been quoted saying about his visits back to Louisiana “My grandma made me crawfish etouffee. Then I had fried catfish, for Christmas, I had gumbo, I went to Darrell’s and had their surf and turf, and I just hit all the regular spots. I ate Popeye’s like, three times. My dad was just so mad because I was eating so much. But I had to get it all in.” … No one says no to Grandma’s cooking, especially a hungry NFL player.
In high school, Etienne was a star athlete, playing football and basketball. Several colleges recruited him, but he ultimately decided to attend Clemson University. This was just the beginning for Etienne.
Roaring With the Clemson Tigers
Etienne joined the Clemson Tigers football team in 2017. Even as a freshman, he impressed, leading the team to a successful season finish running 766 rushing yards and scoring 13 touchdowns. Etienne was a highly productive player at Clemson, setting multiple school records.
As a sophomore in 2018, Travis Etienne was a vital member of the Tigers. He rushed for 1,659 yards by the end of the year and had an FBS-leading 24 rushing touchdowns. He also had two additional receiving touchdowns, bringing his total touchdowns from scrimmage to 26, which also led to FBS.
Etienne started his junior year at Clemson with a career-high 205 yards and three touchdowns in the season’s first game. He went on to have an incredible year, winning multiple awards and proving that he wasn’t riding on luck, but innate skill. For the second consecutive season, Etienne was named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and first-team All-ACC. Despite projections that Etienne would enter the 2020 NFL Draft, he announced in January that he would remain at Clemson for his senior year.
Even with all of his accomplishments in the first three years of his college career, Etienne managed to come back and wow his fans again in his last year at Clemson. At the beginning of his senior year, in a 34-28 win over Boston College, Etienne finished with two touchdowns and a career-high 264 all-purpose yards. Including that performance, he scored a touchdown in 42 games over his college career, breaking Donnel Pumphrey’s record for most in FBS history.
Enter the NFL Draft
Running back Travis Etienne of Clemson University officially declared for the 2021 NFL Draft in January 2021. The Jaguars acquired him in the first round. The Jaguars obtained this draft pick from a trade that sent Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams. He was widely considered one of the top running backs available in the draft, and he ultimately was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 25th overall selection. He signed a four-year contract with them.
This trade also reunited Etienne with his college quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was taken by the Jaguars first overall in the same draft. NFL fans were now able to watch two of Clemson’s all-time greatest players team up once again in an attempt to win a Super Bowl for Jacksonville.
Unfortunately, Etienne’s NFL rookie season was cut short by a preseason Lisfranc injury. While the Jaguars were optimistic that Etienne would be able to return towards the end of the season, they ultimately decided to shut him down for the year, leaving him to prepare for 2022 in the offseason.
Had the Jaguars been in playoff contention instead of being the league’s laughing stock, it’s possible that Etienne could have come back and made an impact. He’ll have to wait until the 2022 season starts to make his mark in the NFL.
Etienne has been tackling practice after last season – literally. He is back in action with the Jaguars training camp and said, “I need that!” Etienne said after Jaguars safety Andre Cisco flattened him, “I haven’t played in so long (that) I want to get tackled. I need to get tackled just to get my body back acclimated with that. I’ve just been at home, working out, chilling on the couch, stuff like that, so to come out here and get some bumps and bruises. I miss that contact. It may sound crazy, but I miss kind of being in those car crashes.” – the Associated Press
The Jacksonville Jaguars hope that second-year coach Urban Meyer can help turn the team around in 2022. The Jaguars have struggled recently, but they have some talented players, including running back Travis Etienne (sharing the backfield with teammate James Robinson) and quarterback Trevor Lawrence. If Meyer can get the most out of these players, the Jaguars could be a competitive team next season. However, it will be difficult, as the Jaguars have a lot of ground to make up. Meyer will need to hustle the team into action and hope that Etienne and Lawrence can lead the way to success.
Etienne’s Fantasy Outlook
As the number one running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, he is known for his speed, agility, and ability to find the end zone. While his accomplishments are impressive, Etienne’s potential impact on the Jaguars as a team truly could set him apart. With him leading the way, the Jaguars have a fighting chance to relevance after years of being one of the worst teams in the league. And unless he sustains another injury this year, there is no doubt that he will continue to shine in the years to come.
Etienne is a name you’ve probably heard no less than 500 times as you prep for your upcoming fantasy draft. Pundits and experts are claiming he’ll be the number one running back in fantasy or an absolute bust. There’s no doubting his talent, and the chemistry he will already have with Lawrence is an enticing bonus. Not to mention, offensive mastermind Doug Pederson has taken over in Jacksonville for the doormat that was Urban Meyer. Taking Etienne is a fun risk to take this season, he could be the second coming of Alvin Kamara and worst case, he’s Jacksonville’s version of Miles Sanders. Take his upside in round 4.
Due to his recent injuries, you may want to pick another player to be the anchor of your team, but you can’t go wrong picking him. Thanks to his unparalleled talent, Travis Etienne Jr. is already one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL today, making him a solid choice for your fantasy roster.
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