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Etienne’s Unparalleled Playmaking

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Travis Etienne is so good that he is still an unparalleled playmaker when it may not even seem like he is doing much at all.

Before ever taking a snap this season, Clemson's Travis Etienne was already one of the greatest running backs in college football history. He entered his senior year with over 4,000 career rushing yards, an ACC-record 54 rushing touchdowns, three playoff appearances, three conference titles and a national championship, all at 7.8 career yards per carry. This is a legacy that doesn't need a grand finale to stand out and stand alone.

Just five times this millennium has an FBS player rushed for at least 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns at 7.8 yards per carry in a single season; two of those five efforts belong to Etienne. He is the only FBS running back since at least 2000, and perhaps all-time, with those minimums plus 37 catches, referencing Etienne's most-recent production as a junior. He is already the lone FBS running back the past 20 years, again maybe ever, with 4,000 yards rushing, 50 rushing touchdowns, 7.5 yards per rush attempt and 500 receiving yards in career.

Clemson is now 42-1 when Etienne gets more than five carries in a single game.

Here is part of what is so remarkable about Etienne. Some may say he has had a relatively quiet start to the 2020 season; even still, he is the only player in college football with at least 240 yards rushing and 170 yards receiving. In Clemson's season-opener against Wake Forest, Etienne topped the 100-yard mark rushing. In the Tigers' second ACC game against Virginia, he topped the 100-yard mark receiving. Etienne, last Saturday against the Cavaliers, caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Etienne is so good that he is still an unparalleled playmaker when it may not even seem like he is doing much at all.

The national spotlight is where Etienne, who has a dozen career postseason touchdowns to date, has often been at his best. This weekend will present yet another opportunity. ESPN College GameDay will be in town for Clemson's top ten showdown with undefeated Miami. Etienne has thrived in big games throughout his career.

One of college football's best players ever, Etienne is a playmaker the likes of which the game has rarely before seen. The story continues.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports