Travis Etienne

running back

Travis etienne

Clemson University


  • Speed
  • Game Breaker
  • Balance


  • Pass Pro
  • Durability Concerns
  • Power




Travis Etienne played in 55 games at running back for Clemson, and had his most productive seasons in his sophomore and junior years. Etienne primarily ran in zone schemes, but looked effective and explosive on gap runs. He has never missed a significant amount of time due to injury, but has found himself on the sideline during games getting looked at by trainers more frequently than his per game workload would suggest. He has displayed a toughness and resiliency to stay on the field despite cramps, knee soreness, and exhibits the traits of a player that can overcome pain mentally.

Etienne’s speed is world class. Good angles need to be great angles for defenders to be able to catch him in pursuit on breakaway runs. He knows what it takes to be a champion, and it is clear that he wants the ball no matter what the game situation is. Etienne has three-down ability.

Run game

Etienne’s greatest strength in the run game is his speed. He is a sudden runner, and can get to top speed in an instant. All he needs is a sliver of light and he turns on the jets. His speed also translates into his power and yards after contact. He is not a pile-pusher, but when defenders are tackling him off-balance, the momentum he creates allows him to fall forward. Etienne’s physical size limits what he can do in a scrum, and he is not best suited for short yardage situations.

He displays good vision in both zone and gap schemes, but shines when asked to make one cut and go on inside zone, outside zone, and stretch plays. Etienne is great at staying upright and keeping his footing through arm tackles and glancing blows, and when he gets to the second level he rarely loses a foot race. He does not have much wiggle to him, and does not rely on making people miss. Etienne swings the ball out away from his body on occasion when he is out in space, but is reliable carrying the ball in a crowd when defenders are trying to rip it out.

Etienne has the speed to get the corner on well-positioned defenders, and has a tendency to bounce runs a little early because of it. He keeps his feet underneath him and he trusts what he sees, allowing him to get up to speed and through the hole. He runs upright more often than not, and loses power when good contact is made by a defender.

pass game

Etienne displays soft, natural hands out in space. He avoids letting the ball in on his body when he can, and transitions smoothly to a runner. He is a match-up nightmare for linebackers, and any time he is one-on-one is a win for the offense. Etienne looks the ball in, even with defenders on his back. He has shown improvement in his pass-catching skills through his junior and senior seasons, and the coaching staff at Clemson emphasized getting him involved in every facet as the years progressed.

He is willing in pass protection, and is not afraid to deliver a hit. Etienne has a tendency to put his head down, however, and slip off his man. The effort is there, but the technique is lacking. His size limits him somewhat, but it is clear that he competes as a blocker and wants to get the job done.


Travis Etienne has the potential to be a three-down back capable of breaking off big plays at any time. His size limits him in short yardage situations, but he adds value in the passing game and on special teams as a returner.


  • Grade: 6.7
  • Ceiling: 6.9 (10%)
  • Floor: 6.2 (20%)
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