Clemson running back Travis Etienne joins Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville

Todd Shanesy
Greenville News
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Former Clemson running back Travis Etienne will be reunited with quarterback Trevor Lawrence as both were picked Thursday night in the first round of the NFL draft.

Eteinne is only the third Clemson running back to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft during the league’s modern era. 

A look back:Highlights of Clemson football's history in the NFL draft

Jacksonville:10 things to know about Jacksonville if you're new Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence

Etienne, who went  No. 25 overall to the JaguaaThursday night, joins C.J. Spiller and Terrance Flagler as the only first-round draft picks the NFL and the AFL merged in 1970. Spiller, now the running backs coach at Clemson, went No. 9 overall in 2010 to the Buffalo Bills. It had been a while since Flagler went No. 25 overall to the San Francisco 49ers in 1987. 

Only seven Clemson running backs have even been drafted in the past two decades. The year before Spiller went, backfield mate James Davis went in the sixth round to the Cleveland Browns. Since then, Jamie Harper went in the 2011 fourth round to the Tennessee Titans, Andre Ellington in the 2013 sixth round to the Arizona Cardinals, Zac Brooks in the fourth round of 2016 to the Seattle Seahawks and Wayne Gallman in the fourth round of 2017 to the New York Giants.

Clemson running back Travis Etienne slams on the brakes to get past an Ohio State defender in the Sugar Bowl national semifinals game Jan. 1 in New Orleans.

Etienne, from Jennings, Louisiana, is the ACC’s all-time leading rusher with 4,952 yards and 70 touchdowns. He holds the FBS record for most career games with a touchdown (rushing or receiving) with 46. He holds all-time league records for rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns (78) and points (468). He is one of only a dozen players in FBS history with 4,000 career rushing yards and 1,000 career receiving yards. He averaged 7.22 yards per carry, a Clemson record and 11th-best in FBS history among players with at least 300 attempts. 

Staying Together::Clemson running back Travis Etienne joins Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville

Also:Here's what Clemson's Travis Etienne adds to already stacked Jacksonville Jaguars backfield

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Clemson has had only two second-round picks at running back since the 1950s. Kenny Flowers went No. 31 overall to the Atlanta Falcons and Joel Wells went No. 18 overall to the Green Bay Packers in 1957. 

Todd Shanesy is a 30-year veteran of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal now focusing on Clemson athletics for the USA Today network.

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