DANIA BEACH — Trevor Etienne’s impending transfer from the Florida Gators to rival Georgia may be weird for Etienne 11 months from now in their meeting in Jacksonville. But there’s no awkwardness for the Bulldogs, at least according to quarterback Carson Beck.
“We’ll take him and accept him as one of our own,” Beck said Thursday morning as he prepares to lead the No. 6 Bulldogs against No. 4 Florida State in Saturday’s Orange Bowl. “I’m sure he’ll prove himself when he gets here.”
Etienne announced his decision to join Georgia on Christmas Eve. The Bulldogs have not yet announced his addition, which explains why assistants were reluctant to talk about him during media availability at Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport.
“I think it just provides leadership,” run game coordinator Dell McGee said of adding an SEC veteran. “He’s played in this league. He’s been very productive. You all watched the tape. He’s a very good player.”
At times, Etienne has been better than very good. He rushed for 14 touchdowns and more than 1,400 yards in two years at Florida. He also added 30 catches for 238 yards and another touchdown plus 671 yards as a returner.
That’s the kind of addition Beck had in mind as he weighed whether to stay for another season. Georgia coaches weren’t specific with him about which players they pursued through the portal, but they did let him know that they were looking around. The Bulldogs also poached one of Miami’s top receivers, Colbie Young (47 catches, 563 yards this season).
“Obviously that’s the biggest thing for me as a quarterback — or any quarterback — is having those weapons around you,” Beck said. “If you don’t have it, it’s kind of a one-man show, and I don’t run very much. …
“At the end of the day, it is a team effort, and we’re going to have to get in the lab, start building the chemistry, figure out the offense. But I’m excited that those guys are going to come in and help us.”
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