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Clemson’s College Football Playoff championship matchup against LSU holds special meaning for star running back Travis Etienne.
The junior is a native of Jennings, Louisiana, and will be facing the team so many people in his hometown still fervently support. According to Etienne’s mother, some of those neighbors are taking the game way, way too far.
Donnetta Etienne tweeted Monday that her family has received “all kind of threats” in the weeks before the championship game on Jan. 13. The game should be a de facto home game for LSU, taking place in New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Etienne doubled down on the tweet in an interview with Scott Keepfer of the Greenville News on Tuesday, citing one person who told her the family had less than 24 hours to get out of Louisiana:
“One person said we had less than 24 hours to get out of Louisiana,” Donnetta said. “I didn’t take it serious, I just got off social media.
“LSU fans are kind of over the top. We have nothing against LSU; it’s not LSU, it’s LSU fans. They have a big desire for LSU to win the game. The only thing I didn’t like about it is it’s not Travis playing LSU, it’s Clemson playing LSU. But LSU fans started going crazy and we haven’t even played the game yet.”
The younger Etienne has established himself as one of the elite running backs in college football over his last three seasons in Clemson. Averaging a ludicrous 7.9 yards per rush in his career, Etienne has racked up 4,491 yards from scrimmage and 61 touchdowns while the Tigers have lost only two games.
That would qualify as a significant recruiting miss for LSU, though they are doing just fine in the running back department with All-SEC first-teamer Clyde Edwards-Helaire. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said the bad break makes him “sick to his stomach.”
From Clemson 247:
"I was an assistant at the time. Travis kept on coming up on visits. One reason or another, we never offered him scholarship. When I became interim head coach, we had a couple players we thought we were getting, and we thought if we offered someone else, we may lose them. But we got shut out. We offered Travis late and I had a full visit with him and everything. His mind was made up already.
"It's something we should have done a better job of. We should have recruited him at an earlier age. We want to keep the best in-state. He's one that got away."
Perhaps those angry at Etienne for choosing Clemson should consider turning their frustrations elsewhere.
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