The Clemson coaching staff added what might be the final piece of the 2017 recruiting class Thursday evening when 4-star running back
Travis Etienne from Jennings (LA) announced his verbal commitment live on KPLC 7 News and said "I'll be taking my talents to the real Death Valley" to the host while putting on a Clemson hat.
He made the decision on his birthday.
Etienne becomes the 14th commitment for the 2017 recruiting class, but the only running back taken in the class. Clemson loses starter Wayne Gallman and reserve Tyshon Dye transferred after the season, and Etienne will compete with veterans Adam Choice, C.J. Fuller and Tavien Feaster for playing time. He is also the 9th ESPN 300 commitment in the 2017 class for Clemson.
Etienne chose Clemson over hometown favorite LSU.
LSU offered two weeks ago after missing on five-star Cam Akers, and Etienne subsequently announced a final three of Tennessee, Texas A&M and LSU. Clemson commit Cordarrian Richardson announced his de-commitment from the Tigers late last month, and Clemson moved on Etienne.
The top-rated Louisiana running back visited Clemson last weekend and Dabo Swinney did an in-home visit to Etienne's home recently. However, LSU's staff has also been recruiting him heavily and his home is only an hour away from their campus.
The speedster has national offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, Northwestern State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, TCU, Texas-San Antonio, Tulane, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech.
He committed to Texas A&M last June before withdrawing his pledge two months later.
Etienne’s father, Travis Etienne, Sr., told TigerNet that last weekend’s visit to Clemson made an impression.
“It was a good visit; it went good” said Travis Etienne Sr. “They’ve got a good coaching staff around here. The blow away was their new facility. He had a good visit with the coaches. He interacted really well with them and he enjoyed it.”