Travis Etienne not named Doak Walker finalist, Clemson coach upset at snub

Travis Etienne not named Doak Walker finalist, Clemson coach upset at snub
Travis Etienne rushed for over 200 yards and 3 TD's in Clemson's win over Georgia Tech (Clemson Athletics)

CLEMSON, SC (KPLC) - Jennings native and Clemson running back Travis Etienne was not among the three finalists for the 2019 Doak Walker Award which is given annually to the NCAA’s top running back.

Despite the former four-star rushing for 1,335 yards and 14 touchdowns on just 153 carries this year, the award commitee selected J.K. Dobbins, Chubba Hubbard and Jonathan Taylor instead. While each of the three players outrushed Etienne this season, no player in the country is within one yard of Etienne’s 8.73 yards per carry average.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was not happy at Etienne’s snub during his weekly press conference.

“If there’s a running back award and Travis Etienne isn’t in the finals of it, what a joke, really,” Swinney said. “This guy. You just wait and see who gets drafted first and the type of career he’s going to have. It’s unbelievable. Travis is like 0.2 yards off the all-time history of college football yards per carry for a career. He leads the country in yards per carry.”

Etienne only averages 13.9 rushing attempts per game as the Tigers have mostly steamrolled its competition this season. Etienne has only four (!) carries in the fourth quarter this season and six straight 100-yard games.

“He’s got 65 less carries than everybody else in their top up there,” Swinney said. “That’s like four games of carries for Travis. Can you imagine what he’d do with four more games? I don’t know what the leader is, but he’d be over that. This guy is off the charts special. It just is what it is. He’s the best back in the country.”

Etienne has rushed for 3,759 yards and 51 touchdowns in his Clemson career and will likely be a first-round selection in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.

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