Etienne has been one of the best success stories of Billy Napier’s tenure. Napier earned a commitment from the four-star Louisiana native about a month after he arrived in Gainesville and formally added him on the traditional February signing day. Etienne was the Gators’ most explosive offensive player, rushing for 1,472 yards and 14 touchdowns through his first two seasons while splitting time with Montrell Johnson. He also worked as a returner and had his first career touchdown catch at Missouri.
The numbers alone do not reflect Etienne’s immense talent — which might be part of the reason he’s considering a new destination. Florida’s offensive line was shaky last season, allowing 82 tackles for loss (tied for No. 109 nationally). Its performance did not help Etienne’s success.
If Etienne leaves — players who enter the portal don’t have to transfer — his loss will be a major blow for Napier heading into what looks like a make-or-break third season.
Etienne is the younger brother of Travis Etienne, the former Clemson superstar who is in his third season with the Jaguars. His presence in Jacksonville means nearby schools like Georgia would be logical potential landing spots for the younger Etienne.
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