On Wednesday, shortly after Trevor Etienne tweeted out a top-five consisting of Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, and LSU the Jennings (La.) four-star running back explained to Inside the Gators just why the Gators made his list of finalists.
— 3.ti3nn.3 ⁶𓅓 (@Trevor_Etienne) August 11, 2021
Back in mid-June Etienne informed ITG via Twitter direct message that he was having an issue getting in touch with the Florida coaching staff. That problem was solved and less than two weeks later he was on campus.
“I was trying to reach them because I wanted to visit there,” explained Etienne. “When I got to talk to them they said that they didn't think they really had a chance at first but then they went back and took a look and started recruiting me harder.”
That interaction led to a two-day visit to campus.
“Me and my parents were there two days at the end of June. They gave me a private workout and we did the tours and all that,” said Etienne. “Ever since then it's been like non-stop communication.”
When asked what stood out the most about the visit, he replied, “I liked the campus, it's really big and I like the vision they have for the program. They want to get back to being like they were when they had [Percy] Harvin and [Tim] Tebow, when they were a powerhouse.”
Etienne said that he unofficially visited each of his top five over the summer, seeing Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, and LSU.
And those aren’t just his current top five, but rather his finalists
“That's my final five,” said Etienne. “I'll say that they are all unique in their own way. I wouldn't say there's one above the others. I think that at any one of those schools I can pursue my dreams of getting to the NFL, get a great education and become a better player and person while I'm at that school.”
When dealing with prospects from the Bayou State, you automatically give the home state Tigers a built-in advantage.
“I wouldn't say LSU has an edge because like my brother, I'm not afraid of being away from home. I want to go out and see new things and experience new things for myself.”
However, in the case of Etienne, several schools have a built-in advantage. Of course, there's LSU due to proximity and the way they recruit that state. With Clemson, his brother Travis Etienne left as the school's all-time leading rusher – and it is his brother that now also provides Florida with a tie-in.
With Travis now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, proximity could actually play in Florida's favor.
“That's definitely something we're looking at because it would be easier for my mom and my dad and my family to get back and forth to games and support us both. And my brother loves Florida, he loves Jacksonville. He said it's starting to grow on him.”
As for fall official visits and a decision timeline, Etienne doesn't quite have those nailed down just yet.
“I don't know when it is, but I know for sure I'm coming,” he said of his Florida official visit.
“I don't have a set date, but I know I want to do it before December,” replied Etienne when asked when he could make his announcement and what he’s looking for in a school. “Somewhere that feels like home to me, doing what's best for me.”
The Inside Scoop: The other four finalists are obviously heavy hitters when it comes to recruiting, but having his brother so close by is a big advantage for the Gators. We’ll have to wait to see what happens on his official visits to see which way the wind is blowing. He doesn’t do many interviews or give up much information when he does.