Travis Etienne makes first team, eight Tigers total Athlon preseason All-America

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Etienne won ACC player of the year and will compete for a run to the Heisman ceremony in 2019.
Etienne won ACC player of the year and will compete for a run to the Heisman ceremony in 2019.

Clemson junior running back Travis Etienne was named Clemson's lone preseason first-team All-American by Athlon this week.

Eight Tigers total made the four-team All-America honors with freshman All-American and national championship offensive MVP Trevor Lawrence leading six on the second-team squad that also included SLB Isaiah Simmons and DE Xavier Thomas on defense and WRs Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross and OG John Simpson on offense.

Junior cornerback AJ Terrell made the fourth team.

Clemson only trailed Alabama's nine honorees. The SEC led all conferences with 26 selections, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (18).

Among recent national rankings, Phil Steele instead gave Clemson's QBs led by Lawrence the edge over Alabama and Tua Tagovailoa.

USA TODAY, which also gave Lawrence the nod as the nation's best QB preseason, ranked Higgins and Ross as the fourth and sixth-best receivers respectively this week.

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