SAN ANTONIO – Louisiana has always been home for Trevor Etienne, but with family and strong ties to Gainesville, he became the second talented Etienne playmaker to head out of state.
First-year Florida coach Billy Napier made his first splash back in his old stomping grounds in The Boot, securing a commitment from the four-star back from Jennings (La.) High School in Southwest Louisiana. LSU and Clemson were other finalists for the Rivals100 recruit.
Etienne, the nation’s No. 2 all-purpose back, had favored Georgia, LSU, Clemson and even the Gators at different junctures in his recruitment. Clemson famously beat out the in-state Tigers for his brother back in 2017, but those closest to the family believed Trevor might be more inclined to remain closer to home. Florida emerged as another likely destination once the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted his brother in the first round of May’s draft. Former Florida assistant Greg Knox, who recruited Travis at Mississippi State, laid a strong foundation for Napier and new Gators running back Jabbar Juluke to close strong.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“I used to go to a lot of Louisiana games to watch coach (Billy) Napier and I like how he runs his offense and what he can do to change that program. That was a win for me.”
“Change is necessary for success. Coach (Jabbar) Juluke and I knew each other through my brother (Travis). He was around the house and stayed around in my recruitment, and at Louisiana, we stayed in contact and talked for some time. We’ve continued to build that relationship. Coach Knox and I had a great relationship, but Coach Juluke and I have a great relationship, too.”
“The way he (Napier) used the tight end and runs the ball … in the SEC, you have to be strong and physical. Coach Napier has a great work ethic. He had it at Louisiana and if it transfers to Florida then great things will come.”
“The family told me to go wherever I wanted to go; it was my decision. If I was rocking, then they were rolling. Florida is convenient for the family, but it was ultimately my decision.”
The younger brother of first-round draft pick Travis Etienne, Trevor packs a similar skill-set in a 5-foot-9, 212-pound shell. The dynamic back, who has proven to be a home-run as a runner and as a pass-catcher, lifted Jennings to the Class 3A state championship game as a sophomore before capturing Louisiana All-State honors in 2020-21.
Over the past two seasons, Etienne has amassed more than 3,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. As a senior, he scored touchdowns rushing, as a return specialist and passing. The Rivals100 all-purpose back capped his stellar run in Southwest Louisiana with 2,000 yards rushing with 30 touchdowns; three more in the return game and another two passing.
There aren’t documented track times for Etienne, but he’s a compact shifty runner with electric speed to the outside and enough power to break off long runs. He’s a proven commodity in the passing game and is prolific in space whether it’s after the catch or as a returner. As the centerpiece of his high school offense, Etienne was rarely able to be slowed down. After multiple game evaluations, Rivals camps and throughout the week at the All-American Bowl Etienne only continued to further his track record of showing well in 1-on-1s and a propensity for splash plays in the open field.