Clemson gets a linebacker from LSU’s backyard

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 11: Sean Pollard
CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 11: Sean Pollard /

Travis Etienne Jr. was a late signee from the state of Louisiana for the Clemson football 2017 recruiting class, and he was a rare get from the state. Well, the Tigers have reached into the home of the LSU Tigers again for a recruit, and he committed this weekend before the Spring game.

Etienne, a sophomore running back from Jennings, La. became just the twelventh player from Louisiana to play at Clemson and the third since 2000. Chad Jasmin(2000-2003) and Nick Watkins(2005-2007) were the most recent. After visiting the campus for the first time on March 3, and committing on Friday, Bryton Constantin is on his way to becoming the fourth. On Monday, he talked about his commitment on Off The Bench on the ESPN Baton Rouge network.

“I’ve always told myself when I feel like the time is right, then I’m going to make my decision. And the time was right for me and my family and everybody that I talked to,” Constantin said. “I have a great relationship with all the coaches up there. I got to meet some of the players, and I grew a better relationship with them. I felt like the time was right, so I had to shut down the process.”

Constantin is a three-star linebacker from University Lab High. University Lab is right in the heart of LSU Tigers territory, in fact, it’s on the campus. But he hasn’t got an offer from head coach Ed Orgeron despite having offers from Clemson, Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, etc.

“I’ve talked to a few of their coaches, and I know it’s a long process, and they recruit a lot of kids. I don’t know if they didn’t see anything in me or not, or I might have not talked to the coaches enough,” he continued. “But I really don’t know. I know they’re interested in me. I know they really are………..just in my opinion, I just think they might have not saw something in me that made them pull the trigger early.”

Etienne did get an offer from LSU, his dream school, on Dec. 27, 2017, but it wasn’t until after his commitment(June 11, 2016) to and subsequent de-commitment(August) from Texas A&M. Clemson offered Jan. 12 and the visit to the campus plus Swinney led to his Jan. 26 declaration to the school with “the real Death Valley.” The campus and Swinney both played a huge part in Constantin’s decision too.

“Just looking at the facilities and everything. It’s just a great school, and they’re ranked No. 1 going into this season. It was just an opportunity that I couldn’t pass on. ”

So what does he think about his future coach?

“He’s just a really nice, genuine open guy with you. He’s not going to hide anything from you and tell you everything straight up, even if you like it or not. And that’s what I like about him…….he really wants me, and he can tell me anything. And I really like that about him.”

Next: Should the Tigers prepare for a dual-QB system in 2018?

Constantin got the commitment train rolling this weekend, and he was followed by five-star receiver Frank Ladson, South Dade(FL), four-star quarterback Taisun Phommachanh, Avon Old Farms(CT), three-star safety Lannden Zanders, Crest(NC) and four-star running back Chez Mellusi, Naples(FL).