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Swinney ‘Had a Feeling’ About Etienne

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney joined The Roar and discussed the annual All-In Ball, as well as his two recent first-round draftees.

Former Clemson running back Travis Etienne's first-round draft stock was uncertain prior to the draft, but after Lawrence officially became a Jaguar and teams passed on the ACC All-Time rusher, Dabo Swinney told his sons, "I'm telling y'all, the Jaguars are gonna take (Etienne)."

The Tigers' head coach offered up some premonitions he had as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell began to rattle off the first 32 names on April 29th.

"I had a feeling that if (Etienne) was there at 25, they were going to take him," Swinney said on WCCP The Roar. "I had a strong feeling; I really didn't know if he was going to be there (or not). I really thought he might go to (Pittsburgh) Steelers. 

"When the Steelers did not take him, in fact, I was with my boys at that time. I had gotten back home, and I said, 'I'm telling ya'll, the Jaguars are gonna take him.' They were like, 'Nah, they had some great running back last year,' and I said, 'Well, I don't remember what his name was, so he wasn't Travis Etienne.'"

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Jacksonville's starter at running back in 2020, James Robinson, had a standout season in his rookie campaign, rushing 240 times for 1,070 yards and added 344 receiving yards on 49 catches. Etienne provides an understudy in his first year, as running back turnaround can be very volatile in the NFL, giving Jacksonville two versatile options, both on rookie-scale deals.

Lawrence will have lethal ball carriers and receiving threats to his left and right now, which could help first-year head coach Urban Meyer scheme accordingly for quick-release plays to hide potential concerns on the offensive line in front of the first-year quarterback.

"It really is just one of the coolest things," Swinney said. "Because you think about (Lawrence): you're the first pick of an organization. I mean, you're the face of the franchise, and you're going in; there's so much expected of you. 

"It's like the perfect scenario for Travis because he's got that long-haired blonde that's out in front and kind of going to deal with all that (expectations) stuff, and Travis can just go play ball. He has instant chemistry with Trevor. It's just really cool that they can do it together and continue what they started here at Clemson. I mean, they're going to be awesome."

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