Every year top recruits from across the country travel to San Antonio, Texas to compete in the All-American Bowl. It is chance for those prospects to showcase their talent and kind of gauge where they stand among the nations best high school football players. The Florida Gators had two signees participating in the game in four-star defensive back Devin Moore out of Naples (Fla.) and four-star defensive tackle Chris McClellan out of Owassu (Okla.).
They also had a number of big-time targets in attendance with two of those being four-star running backs Tre'Vonte Citizen and Trevor Etienne, the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne. The Gators have not signed a high school running back since the 2019 class so landing a blue-chip prospect was an absolute must for Coach Billy Napier and his staff once they got to campus and hit the ground running on the recruiting trail.
Well, that came to fruition when Etienne announced that he was committing to Florida over Clemson and LSU during the game. The top-100 player from Jennings, Louisiana is a versatile back that can do it all on the field. Standing at 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, he’s a different type of back that his brother. He’s able to run between the tackles, has excellent vision and while he isn't considered a "burner" he does have the speed to take it the distance in the open field. He also does a great job of catching the ball out of the backfield.
Each school in his final three presented a unique opportunity for Etienne. LSU being close to home, only about an hour and a half from Jennings to Baton Rouge, offered him the chance to play in front of his family. He was a Clemson legacy, as referenced earlier with his brother being the former running back there, so he is extremely familiar with the Tigers program. He would have had the chance to continue that legacy and follow in his brothers footsteps. However, he decided to take his own path by taking his talents to Gainesville.
Florida had been recruiting him for a while now, dating back to the previous staff. However, when Billy Napier took over he turned up the heat on Etienne with the help of running backs coach and New Orleans (La.) native Jabbar Juluke and showed him how much of a priority he was for the Gators. With both Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis leaving for the NFL, he has a chance to come in and play immediately alongside Demarkcus Bowman and Lorenzo Lingard.
He chose the Florida Gators over the others for a couple reasons. One is his relationship with Billy Napier and Jabaar Juluke but also noted that the education at UF was a huge factor in his commitment, saying that he was making not just a four year decision but a 40 year one. He is scheduled to take his official visit to Florida on January 14th where he will no doubt slip on his recruiting hat, as the Gators are hosting some big time prospects during that weekend.