CBS Sports projection: Travis Etienne will win Doak Walker award


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It's not the Heisman, but it would be the first Doak Walker trophy in program history.
It's not the Heisman, but it would be the first Doak Walker trophy in program history.

The countdown to the scheduled start of the college football season is under 100 days now and CBS Sports made a bold prediction regarding a Clemson playmaker this season.

Travis Etienne wasn't even a Doak Walker finalist for the top running back in the nation after a phenomenal junior campaign. CBS Sports' Chip Patterson believes he makes up for it with the school's first Doak Walker award in 2020.

"Top running back conversations too often ignore the efforts of Etienne because he doesn't rank high when writers sort stat sheets by yards and yards per game," Patterson said. "The two-time ACC Player of the Year Award winner averaged 7.8 yards per carry in 2019 and 8.1 yards per carry in 2018 for Clemson, shattering ACC career touchdown and scoring records along the way. Lawrence might finally end up getting that ACC Player of the Year Award from the league, but Etienne will deserve national recognition as the top running back in the game."

Etienne was ranked the top 2020 draft prospect to return for the upcoming season by Pro Football Focus.

"He already showed he can be a factor in the passing game last season, going from 12 receptions in 2018 to 37 in 2019," PFF's Michael Renner said. "If he would have declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, there’s a good chance he would have been the first running back off the board. All we want to see is business as usual after he broke an absurd 91 tackles on 207 attempts as a junior — the best rate we’ve ever seen from a college back."

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