The simple, quick answer is yes. We’re about halfway through the season now, so this is the time I start looking at Heisman candidates. There are quite a few contenders, most of which I’ll break down over the next few days before heading out to Las Vegas for a weekend with the guys. But Travis Etienne is a player who has quietly emerged and placed himself in the center of the Heisman conversation.
With Clemson having some early season QB drama/issues, Etienne has been a steady offensive force for the Tigers. You might even go as far as saying that he is solely responsible for the win over Syracuse last week. On the season he has rushed for 761 yards and 11 TDs with a receiving TD thrown in as well. But the last 4 games are what has put him into the Heisman talks. Over these 4 games, he has rushed for 654 yards and 9 TDs. That’s good, that’s a weapon, that’s Heisman worthy. He is averaging 9.2 yards per carry on the season. That’s also good, in case you were wondering.
How far will Clemson go? That remains to be seen. But with Etienne as the workhorse out of the backfield, the Tigers can be comfortable with Trevor Lawrence easing into his role as starting quarterback. If he progresses as expected, Clemson will be hard to beat. I didn’t like seeing Kelly Bryant transfer after losing the starting job, and I’m sure most Clemson fans didn’t either. Chase Brice is an able backup, but it sure would have been nice to rely on Bryant if the situation arose. But regardless, Travis Etienne is what drives this offense right now. He is making a name for himself and putting other Heisman candidates on notice with his efforts.
The competition for the Heisman this year will be tough. Among the leaders so far is Alabama QB Tua …….(googles his last name)….Tagovailoa. I have a feeling that I better get used to spelling that. But there are others as well. As we get deeper into conference play, we’ll see what some of these guys are really made of. For Clemson, giving the ball to Etienne is their plan to get them to the ACC Championship game and then into the playoffs. So far, he looks to be up to the task.