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Clemson running back Travis Etienne admits he gets ‘spooked’ and ‘nervous’ about catching passes

Clemson running back Travis Etienne is one of the most dynamic pure runners in college football, but he was awful as a receiver last season.

During the 2018 campaign, Etienne dropped four of his 17 targets in the passing game, and Clemson essentially stopped even trying to get him involved in that aspect of the offense.

In two full seasons at Clemson, he has caught a grand total of 17 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. That’s hardly elite production.

Now we know why.

Greg Brandt of Devy Watch asked him if it all boils down to concentration. Etienne responded by saying, “I don’t know, I feel nervous I guess. Cause the ball is coming, and I always feel like the defender is right there, so I run before I catch the ball and get spooked by my surroundings.” 

That’s a troubling admission.

On the one hand, perhaps being so self-aware and honest about his issue will help Etienne overcome this glaring hole in his game.

On the other hand, if he continues to struggle with pass catching this coming season, having admitted to this problem will significantly and negatively impact his draft stock heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.

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