Travis Etienne was born and raised in Jennings, Louisiana, and is of Louisiana Creole descent. He established his pattern of elite production as a runner during his high school seasons, rushing for 2,459 yards and 39 touchdowns in his senior season at Jennings High School. Etienne was a 4-star recruit and ranked the No. 15 running back recruit in his class. He accepted an offer to play at Clemson in January of 2017. In no time, he stood out on the Tigers' offense, running for 766 yards on 107 carries and scoring 13 total touchdowns in his freshman season.
Etienne was given the lead-back role in Clemson and he followed his breakout season with two straight seasons of at least 1,600 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns. He and quarterback Trevor Lawrence combined to bring home the National Championship trophy in 2018. Etienne also earned first-team All American status that season. With dominant college statistics, many expected Etienne to declare for the draft in 2019, but he returned to Clemson for his senior season. He failed to reach 1,000 rushing yards, but increased his routes run and earned a 12.2-percent Target Share, with few instances of dropped passes.
Etienne underwhelmed at his 2020 Pro Day, and there were questions raised about his weight and fitness level. He ran a 4.50 second 40-time, however, which equated to an acceptable 80th-percentile size-adjusted Speed Score. His workout metrics were above average, but his elusiveness and ability to create yards set him apart on tape. The Jaguars selected Etienne in the first round of the 2021 Draft and reunited him with his college quarterback, Lawrence. Tragically, Etienne went down with a Lisfranc injury, ending his rookie season before it began.
Etienne returned to action in 2022 and was an integral part of an upstart Jaguars team that improved greatly in 2022 with Doug Pederson at the helm. Etienne was No. 8 in the league with 1125 rushing yards and No. 5 with 16 Breakaway Runs while earning 9.0 Yards Per Catch (No. 5) on 35 catches (No. 22). The Jags added third-round pick Tank Bigsby to the backfield in the 2023 Draft, but Etienne will continue to play an important role on an ascending Jaguars offense.