Etienne cements NFL Draft stock with impressive pro day
CLEMSON, SC (KPLC) - Clemson running back Travis Etienne has passed every test the NCAA and the NFL (so far) has thrown his way with his performance at Clemson’s Pro Day on Thursday.
The Jennings native wowed scouts with an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.40 seconds. He followed that sprint up with another of the same time.
The speed was impressive considering he bulked up this offseason. He measured in at 5-10, 215 pounds after playing last season under 200.
“199 in the league, you really won’t thrive at the running back position, you really won’t be able to play that position for long. I definitely wanted to get my body right but get it right the right way,” Etienne said during his media availability. “I’ve been on a meal plan. I’ve been working out every day Monday through Saturday with speed training in the morning and lifting in the afternoon. I’ve been doing that since early January and that really got me to this point.”
While it’s never a one-to-one comparison with hand-timed vs. laser-timed— if his pro day testing were done at the NFL Combine, Etienne would have been just the 15th running back in history to run a 4.40 or better weighing at least 215 pounds.
He also showed off his strength with 18 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, while recording a 33.5-inch vertical.
His biggest improvement this past season came with an uptick in his receiving abilities. He was the only running back in the nation with over 500 receiving yards this past season.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Amari Rodgers. He really challenged me to get on the Jugs after every practice for 30-45 minutes. And we would practice catching tennis balls too every day after practice,” said Etienne. “During the pandemic, I got with Trevor Lawrence out here and caught a lot of balls.”
Etienne heads to the NFL as the ACC’s career leader in rushing yards with 4,952, rushing touchdowns with 70, and total touchdowns with 78. He ran 168 times for 914 yards and 14 touchdowns and caught 48 passes for 588 yards and two touchdowns this season.
With his solid workout and record-breaking résumé, Etienne is hoping to be a first-round pick. No. 16 to the Arizona Cardinals would be a “dream.”
“I just thought it would be a great scenario there. Nuk (DeAndre Hopkins), J.J. Watt just got there. I feel like I could really go there and be a great asset to the team. Just putting it into perspective, if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” said Etienne. “I really don’t care where I go at this point. Just excited to see where I go. I’m just ready to go out there and give my all.”
Although Etienne admitted, his Louisiana roots has his family hoping for a different colored jersey.
“My grandfather, every time I go home he tells me he envisions me playing for the Saints,” Etienne admitted. “He’s been a huge fan his whole life.”
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