New Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer had his eyes on more than Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence when scouting the player he would take in #1 in Thursday night’s NFL Draft. He also liked Tiger running back Travis Etienne. He liked him so much, he used the 25th pick in the first round on the ACC’s all-time leading rusher.
Lawrence became the first Clemson product to be taken with the first pick in the draft, joining George Rogers and Jadeveon Clowney of USC as state players taken number one. It’s a school record third straight year Clemson has had multiple first round picks.
Watch Trevor Lawrence go #1 in the Draft
Lawrence helped guide Clemson to the program’s third national title in 2018, starting the final 11 games of major college football’s first 15-0 campaign since 1897. This past season, he finished second in Heisman Trophy voting and won the Bobby Bowden Trophy and ACC Player of the Year amid a plethora of conference and national awards.
“The Jaguars are getting a winner, capital W-I-N-N-E-R, WINNER,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said of Lawrence in a Clemson release. “They’re getting a great human being, great leader and a highly skilled football player. He is a mentally and physically tough football player. He’s fast, he’s big, he’s strong, and he is an incredibly equipped and skilled quarterback. He just really has great command of the position, an understanding of football, aptitude for football, understanding of defense. Really, there is not anything you could ever want in a quarterback that he doesn’t possess. But the No. 1 thing that they’re getting is a great man of faith, great character and the ultimate winner. If you go all the way back to middle school, he has not lost many games. And I think he is going to be a guy that impacts the community, will impact the coaching staff, will impact free agency, and really do it in an incredibly humble way. Great spirit, a guy that has got his feet on the ground and really ‘gets it’ in every aspect of what his responsibility and what his role will be, not only in the organization but within the community and the NFL.”
Trevor Lawrence Zoom with media
Watch Travis Etienne go #25 in the Draft
Etienne completed one of the most prolific careers in Clemson, ACC and college football history from 2017-20, becoming a consensus All-American in 2020 after winning back-to-back ACC Player of the Year honors in 2018 and 2019. He departed for the NFL as the FBS record-holder for most career games scoring a touchdown (46 of his 55 career games) as well as the ACC career record-holder for rushing yards (4,952), total touchdowns (78), rushing touchdowns (70) and points scored (468).
“Travis is one of the most explosive, dynamic players that I have ever seen,” Swinney said. “He is a bigger C.J. Spiller, which is the best way I can describe him based on the guys that I have had experience with. C.J. was probably 199-200 lbs. Travis is just bigger, but he has that same explosiveness. He is dynamic, as far as what he can do in the passing game. He can also return. He has an incredibly humble spirit to him. He is one of the best teammates you can ever have, and he is blue collar. He is just a tough, blue-collar football player. He is an every-down player. He is a first-, second- and third-down guy, and he can change the game any play, any quarter. Any time he touches the ball, he is one of those guys that you’ve got to hold your breath, and I can’t wait to see him at the next level and watch him continue to develop as a complete player.”
Travis Etienne Zoom with media
Horn was projected by some to go as early as #10 to the Cowboys, but the Panthers did not let him slide past the #8 spot. Horn became the 15th Gamecock to be taken in the first round of the draft and the 10th since 2000. He is the fifth-highest Gamecock selected behind George Rogers (1), Jadeveon Clowney (1), Sterling Sharpe (7) and Troy Williamson (7).
Horn earned second team All-SEC honors this past season. He had 16 tackles, broke up 6 passes and intercepted the only two passes of his career. He played in just seven games as he opted out for family Covid reasons following the firing of head coach Will Muschamp.