Etienne returning to Clemson for senior season
Ralph Freso / Getty Images Sport / Getty

In a surprising move, Clemson running back Travis Etienne announced Friday he will return to school for his senior season rather than declare for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Etienne had widely been considered one of the top running back prospects eligible for the upcoming draft. Known for his blazing speed, the 20-year-old eclipsed 1,600 rushing yards for the second straight season in 2019 and totaled more than 2,000 combined yards.

Etienne's career stats

Year Rush yards Receiving yards Total TDs
2017 766 57 13
2018 1658 78 26
2019 1614 432 23

Etienne's return means Clemson will have its star-studded backfield intact for another year; quarterback Trevor Lawrence isn't eligible for the NFL draft until 2021.

Etienne has helped the Tigers reach the College Football Playoff in each of his three seasons with the program. He had three touchdowns in the national title victory over Alabama last season and added another in Clemson's loss to LSU this year.

He joins Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State and Kylin Hill of Mississippi State as surprise returnees among running backs.

Etienne returning to Clemson for senior season
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