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Clemson RB Travis Etienne surprises by returning for senior season

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Clemson running back Travis Etienne is returning for his senior season, he announced Friday afternoon.

Etienne, a junior who has been a starter for three seasons, was widely expected to declare for the NFL draft. He wrote Friday on social media that he's "not done dreaming here at Clemson."

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Etienne as the No. 4 draft-eligible running back for April's draft.

"I look forward to earning my degree from this great university and continuing to fight with my brothers on the team to make you proud during the 2020 season," Etienne wrote on Twitter.

Etienne's teammate A.J. Terrell, whom Kiper ranks as the No. 9 prospect among cornerbacks, announced Friday that he will enter the draft. Terrell had two interceptions, three pass breakups, 24 solo tackles and half a sack in 2019.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Etienne has eclipsed 1,600 rushing yards in each of the past two seasons. He has 4,038 career rushing yards and an ACC-record 56 touchdowns on 518 carries, to go with 567 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 54 receptions.

Etienne has helped Clemson to a national championship in 2018, three ACC championships and three College Football Playoff appearances. He was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back in 2018 and a semifinalist for the Doak Walker and the Maxwell Award as national player of the year in 2019.

He earned ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors in each of the past two seasons and earned second-team All-America honors in 2018 and 2019. He's the first Clemson player to record consecutive 1,500-yard rushing seasons.

Etienne will rejoin quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the offensive backfield for Clemson, which likely will enter the 2020 season as the nation's No. 1-ranked team. Wide receiver Tee Higgins is currently the only Clemson underclassman to declare for the NFL draft.