Clemson football: Travis Etienne made money Thursday night


Clemson football running back Travis Etienne’s decision to return paid off last night during the first round of the NFL Draft.

To say those that follow college football were shocked to see Travis Etienne announce he was returning for his senior season at Clemson would be a mild understatement. Even the college football experts were shocked.

However, that decision paid off big time for Etienne last night as the first round of the 2020 NFL draft unfolded.

Pick after pick was made from NFL teams last night and with just one pick remaining in the first round, a runningback finally heard his name called near midnight on the east coast. LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the one and only running back taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.

That means that D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, Cam Akers, and Zack Moss are all still available. With the way that backs are viewed in the NFL these days, there is no telling how far many of them will drop.

While we have no way knowing exactly where Etienne would have fit in with this group in the eyes of NFL brass, the consensus coming is was that he was ranked no higher than the fifth-best among this group.

If Thursday nights first round was any indication on how the 2020 draft will unfold, the fifth running back will not be taken until sometime in the third round. If Etienne is able to work on his catching ability out of the backfield in 2020, he will be among the firsts back taken in 2021.

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Simply put, while other running backs lost money last night, Etienne made money by coming back to finish his college degree and bring Clemson football one more national title. That decision that shocked so many just a few months ago now seems even better than it once did.