PFF ranks Travis Etienne as fifth-best player in college football

PFF ranks Travis Etienne as fifth-best player in college football
Clemson's Travis Etienne prepares to play in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. (Source: KPLC)

Jennings native Travis Etienne has captivated the college football world during his three years at Clemson. The rising senior running back is poised for another record-breaking season in the Tiger backfield and Pro Football Focus (PFF) College has taken notice by ranking him as the No. 5 player in the country.

Etienne announced in January that he will be returning to Clemson for his senior season after totaling over 1,600 rushing yards in each of the past two seasons. In three years he’s totaled 4,038 career rushing yards, 567 receiving yards and an ACC-record 56 touchdowns on 518 carries.

PFF College raved about Etienne’s physical running style and home run potential.

It isn’t a hot take to say Etienne should be in the conversation for the best running back in the history of college football. Over the last two seasons, the Clemson Tiger ranks first in rushing grade, broken tackles per attempt (0.35), yards after contact per attempt (4.7) and rate of carries resulting in a first down or touchdown (36.5%). On top of that, he’s been the most valuable non-quarterback in the country in that span.
PFF College

Etienne will enter 2020 in line to finish in the top 10 of numerous NCAA career records. Etienne’s 4,038 yards is good for 134th all-time, however, he’s less than 1,600 yards from breaking into the top 10. Etienne is also currently ranked third in yards per attempt with 7.8. He’s tied with Melvin Gordon for the highest YPC by a Power 5 player ever. His 56 touchdowns are good for 21st all-time as seven will put him in the top 10 and 22 breaks the record for the most by a running back.

The one record Etienne can set is touchdowns from scrimmage as his total of 62 is just 26 touchdowns away from Navy’s Keenan Reynolds’ total of 88. Etienne scored 26 touchdowns in 2018.

Etienne played a huge role in Clemson’s national championship title in 2018 as well as their 2019 championship appearance. In his three years at Clemson, the Tigers have three ACC championships and three College Football Playoff appearances. Etienne was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back in 2018 and a semifinalist for the Doak Walker and the Maxwell Award as national player of the year in 2019. In addition, Etienne earned ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors in each of the past two seasons and earned second-team All-America honors in 2018 and 2019. Etienne also became the first Clemson player to record two straight 1,500-yard rushing seasons.

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