Clemson suffers another recruiting disappointment missing out on Trevor Etienne

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Louisiana high school standout running back Trevor Etienne (5) announced his college decision on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
Louisiana high school standout running back Trevor Etienne (5) announced his college decision on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.

Four-star running back Trevor Etienne announced his commitment to Florida on Saturday from a final three that also included Clemson and LSU.

His decision was broadcast live prior to kickoff at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas which is being broadcast on NBC. A pair of Clemson signees -- quarterback Cade Klubnik and defensive back Toriano Pride are also playing in the all-star game.

None of Etienne's three finalists signed a running back during last month's national early signing period.

The Jennings, Louisiana, prospect is ranked as the No. 183 recruit and 15th-best at his position in the 247Sports Composite. He is the brother of former Clemson standout running back Travis Etienne, an NFL first-round pick who missed this year's rookie season with the Jaguars because of injury.

Asked why he chose not to follow his brother to Clemson, Etienne said, "I've got nothing but love for Clemson, but I wanted to see something new. Do something new for myself. Florida felt like home to me and that's where it's going to be."

Travis Etienne is a two-time ACC Player of the Year and one of the best running backs in the history of college football. His NFL city of Jacksonville is only 70 miles from Florida's campus.

More: Where do Clemson's new signees fit into next year's roster, how much can they contribute

Etienne has known former Louisiana Lafayette coach and new Florida coach Billy Napier and new Florida and former Louisiana running backs coach Jabbar Juluke for some time now. Lafayette is only 40 miles from Etienne's hometown, giving the two coaches close access to try and lure him to their former school.

Napier was a starting quarterback at Furman and a former offensive coordinator at Clemson. Etienne was the very first player he visited on the recruiting trail once he took over the Gators last mont

Etienne was one of only three 2022 running backs offered by the Tigers prior to last month's national early signing period with Emmanuel Henderson signing with Alabama and Branson Robinson signing with Georgia.

Clemson extended an offer Thursday to Dallas, Texas running back Andrew Paul (5-foot-11, 220 pounds), ranked 1,211th overall and 89th at his position. The Tigers have offered two 2023 running backs -- Florida's Richard Young (ranked 16th and 1st) and Georgia's Justice Haynes (47th and third).

More: Mauldin star Jeadyn Lukus is Clemson's top-ranked defensive commit, may be the most humble

More: Clemson football lands in the final seven schools for a pair of highly ranked 2023 linemen

Regarding Clemson, Etienne told USA TODAY Sports Media Group's Kristian Dyer on Wednesday, "They had a down year, but toward the end of the season they started going up — they started increasing and doing better. That just shows what that facility and that foundation is built on. So you know, it’s just a great place to be. It’s really a home away from home.”

The Tigers have six returning running backs, three of whom were the main rotation last year after losing a pair of veterans to the transfer portal during the season. Rising sophomore Will Shipley (149 carries for 739 yards and 11 touchdowns) is a budding star. Rising sophomore Phil Mafa (68-292-3) and rising junior Kobe Pace (104-641-6) were solid. All three missed at least two games.

Clemson ranked eighth in the ACC at 168 rushing yards per game with quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei contributing 308 yards on 105 attempts.

Check back for more on this developing story

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson football misses out on top recruit Trevor Etienne

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