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More Amazing Milestones for Etienne

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Saturday's top five spotlight at Notre Dame's famed Memorial Stadium will be a fitting stage for an all-time All-American.

On an afternoon where he became the ACC's new all-time leading rusher, breaking a record held by NC State legend Ted Brown since the 1970s, Travis Etienne also caught seven passes for 140 yards, became the only Power Five player this millennium with that receiving yardage total and a touchdown, 80 rushing yards and a score and 40 kick return yards in a single game, helped rally Clemson to the largest comeback in Death Valley history, had countless key plays as the Tigers won their 36th consecutive regular season and league contest and 50th straight Saturday clash and became the first FBS player ever with a touchdown in 42 games.

All in a day's work for Etienne.

Etienne makes everything, even remarkable feats like what he accomplished last Saturday, look easy. So much so that his greatness sometimes gets overlooked or underdiscussed. Still with a half-season to go, Etienne is already in the running for greatest running back ever. His career resume includes 4,644 rushing yards and 65 touchdowns and 1,001 receiving yards and eight more scores through the air. Also three College Football Playoff appearances, three ACC Championships, one national title and counting.

Not just part of Clemson's dominance, but pacing it, the Tigers are 47-1 when Etienne has more than five carries in a game.

Quite notably, Etienne will very likely soon become the 26th FBS running back to reach 5,000 career rushing yards. If current trends and projections hold, he will have the highest yard-per-carry average (7.5) of any in the legendary group, a distinction Etienne will hold by a wide margin. He already has the second-most receiving yards, another select-list he will certainly soon top as well.

Saturday's top five spotlight at Notre Dame's famed Memorial Stadium will be a fitting stage for an all-time All-American. Etienne is one of the defining players of college football's current generation; this stage feels like a showcase. A starring role against the undefeated Fighting Irish would be yet another chapter in the storied legacy of the New Orleans-native. As a sophomore, Etienne rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown in Clemson's Cotton Bowl triumph over Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff. He and talented true freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei will now face the nation's 4th-ranked defense in South Bend.

The big stage has often been where Etienne has been at his best. In his last seven games against ranked opponents, Etienne has scored a dozen total touchdowns.

Etienne's most recent outing, one for the record books, was a performance to remember. Seeing he and Clemson face the most storied program in the history of the game in primetime awaits as one remarkable encore. Every chance to watch Etienne should be fully appreciated. He is a timeless talent, one of college football's greatest players ever, regardless of position or era.

In becoming the ACC's all-time leading rusher last weekend, Etienne made history. More is on the way.

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