SWLA four-star running backs hint at possible college backfield tandem
SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA (KPLC) - The world of college football recruiting never sleeps. Despite the early signing period wrapping up in December, high school athletes that didn’t sign look forward to the February period when they can once again secure their place in a college signing class.
The two most notable Southwest Louisiana athletes for the 2022 class opted to sign in February (mostly due to coaching changes) and both happen to play the same position. Jennings’ Travis Etienne and LCCP’s TreVonte’ Citizen are both four-star ranked running backs according to the 247Sports Composite rankings and by Rivals.
Both players were invited to the All-American Bowl on Jan. 8 in San Antonio that is set for a noon kickoff on NBC. During practice this week, the district foes have spent time working alongside one another and have hinted at being teammates in college.
If that were the case, likely the choice would be down to one of two schools, LSU or Florida. Etienne has a top three that include both of those schools and his brother’s alma mater, Clemson. Meanwhile Citizen, a former LSU commit under Ed Orgeron, doesn’t have a public top schools list and hasn’t been offered by Clemson. Citizen has been targeted by SEC schools LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M plus schools like Texas and Michigan State.
The duo, while both talented, bring different skill sets to the college game.
Citizen, a top-10 ranked player in the state, is a bruiser at 6-foot and nearly 220 pounds. While his power and strength stand out, his track speed is apparent in his tape. While he isn’t a shifty runner, Citizen is noted as being an excellent one-cut runner.
“TreVonte’ as a runner is absolutely ruthless. He’s a downhill runner with verified 4.5 track speed. Ultimately, I think he is a three-down back and I don’t think there is anything he can’t do,” said Rivals National Recruiting Analyst Sam Spiegelman. “He contributed in the passing game, he’s a willing blocker and his dad coaches running backs, so, he knows the ins and outs of the position. In the SEC that’s what you’re looking for. You are looking for someone to move the chains consistently and he’s done that at a very high level while at LCCP. He is also the driving force of their office. When you think about what you look for in the SEC, you draw up someone who looks a lot like TreVonte’ Citizen.”
On the other hand, Etienne, who is set to announce his college decision during KPLC’s broadcast of the All-American Bowl on Saturday, is also a top-10 ranked back in the class. His skillset features some power like Citizen, but at 5-foot-9, 210 pounds, he doesn’t have the same physical build. Etienne makes up for that size with a versatile skillset and a knack for making big plays, like his brother Travis.
“Personally, I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I think Trevor has a higher ceiling [than Travis]. I think he is a tougher runner than Travis. I know it sounds crazy and it’s not a knock on Travis because he is a first-round pick, and he did it all at Clemson,” admitted Spiegelman. “I think Trevor is going to be better. Trevor has dominated every setting we have seen him at in terms of a camp thing. He has speed, explosiveness and hands. He makes difficult catches and can play in the slot in any given offense. His explosiveness as a pure running back is as good as Travis’ if not better. I think the sky is the limit”
While Etienne will announce his college decision soon, nothing will be final until the players ink their names on National Signing Day on Feb. 2.
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