Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott has worn a path to the front door of the Etienne home in Jennings, LA. He was the Tigers’ running backs coach when they successfully recruited Travis Etienne, and he turned him into a first-round draft pick. Elliott, who now coaches tight ends, was in the Etienne home Monday night along with current running backs coach CJ Spiller to meet with Trevor Etienne, like his brother, a highly regarded running back who is down to Clemson, Florida and LSU.
“The visit was great,” said Etienne’s mother Donnetta. “And their message was very educational because now you have NIL and money on the table to try and pay to kids while they are in college,” Etienne said. “You have different aspects of the program that are changing, and the college coaches are keeping the new recruits informed of all these new gadgets added to college football that weren’t there when Travis was in college. It is totally different. I guess you could almost call them bonuses now.”
The Etienne family obviously had a great experience the first time around with Travis. It was so good in fact, Travis passed on leaving after his junior season and returned to school only to come the program’s all-time leading rusher.
“We are family. No matter what happens, we are family,” Mrs. Etienne said. “Coach Tony took off his coach’s hat and put on his big brother hat. The big brother hat says that no matter who you choose and what school you choose, I want you to choose what is best for you. But as the big brother, I am not going to let you choose anything that won’t be good for your future. And then he had some input on all of the recent coaching changes. Coaches are switching and staffs are switching, and players are in the transfer portal and things of that sort all over the country, and he was making sure that Trevor had the right information and was educated on all of the possibilities in making a decision that was best tailored for Trevor. Because even though Trevor is Travis’ little brother, he still is Trevor Etienne, and he wants him to make the best choice and the best fit that he feels right with him.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney did not join his assistants on this visit and is likely to make his in-home visit next week leading up to Etienne’s official visit with the Tigers. Of the three finalists, Clemson can point to the fact their head coach is stable and a known commodity to the Etiennes.
“We really can’t look at coaches. If you look at it, you really can’t look at a school because of the coaches because the coaches could be gone at any minute,” Mrs. Etienne said. “You have to pick a school because of the culture and their economic and educational backgrounds. There are so many facets in picking a school besides football for us. We look at the overall picture. Is the school the best fit for our culture? The Etienne name is a household name, so you don’t want to put just anything with it. We have certain morals and standards that we stick to. For us, it’s all about the culture and good people.”
Etienne made a couple of visits to Clemson last summer. Last weekend he made an unofficial visit to Florida for the Florida State game. He plans to announce his commitment on January 8th during the All-American Game.