Travis Etienne is primed for bounce-back season in year two

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When the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Travis Etienne in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, they had high expectations for the Clemson standout. One injury later, however, those expectations had to be put on hold.

Although he saw some action in the preseason last year, a Lisfranc injury that required surgery ultimately sidelined Etienne for the entire 2021 regular season.

Still, after months of rehab, Etienne was back at full strength at Jacksonville’s minicamp and showcased his speed and agility during preseason workouts.

With Etienne’s return, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso believes the former Tiger is primed for a big year coming off his injury.

Here’s Trapasso’s thinking behind his expectations for Etienne.

As a draft prospect, I didn’t adore Etienne like many others did but acknowledged he was an explosive, high-energy runner with above-average capabilities as a receiver, mostly due to how fast he accelerated and how speedy he was in top gear.

The preseason injury as a rookie was probably a blessing in disguise — Etienne avoided the negative atmosphere derived from Urban Meyer and his coaching staff. Now he enters what, at the very least, will be a semi-competent coaching environment on a team with much more talent on it than it featured a season ago.

Jacksonville’s blocking should be improved in large part due to the presence of big-ticket free-agent signing Brandon Scherff, and Trevor Lawrence can’t be worse in Year 2 than he was as a rookie. Jacksonville Etienne will look a lot like Clemson Etienne in 2022.

If Trapasso’s prediction of Etienne playing at the same level as he did at Clemson even remotely comes to fruition, Jacksonville fans will be thrilled.

The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Etienne is arguably Clemson’s best running back of all time and is the ACC’s all-time leading rusher.

In his four seasons at Clemson, he also showcased his receiving ability, reeling in 102 receptions for 1,155 yards and eight touchdowns.

With Etienne and Lawrence already having established chemistry from their time in college, Jacksonville could have a powerful and dynamic offensive duo in 2022.

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Multiple Tigers listed on Sporting News' 2022 college football preseason All-American team