LSU Football: Tigers could be repeating a costly mistake

Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football could be repeating a mistake that cost the program a key recruit during the 2017 recruiting cycle.

Running back Travis Etienne had a brilliant career for the Clemson Tigers, rushing for 4,952 yards and 70 touchdowns in four seasons.

Etienne is a Louisiana native who signed with Clemson over LSU, despite a late push by Ed Orgeron and his staff.

The reason LSU wasn’t able to land Etienne was because they had other running backs higher on their recruiting board. When LSU failed to land those running backs, they turned to Etienne. By then, however, it was too late.

Orgeron never got over missing on Etienne.

“We should’ve recruited him at an earlier age and like all great Louisiana backs we keep them in state,” said Orgeron in late 2019 (via The State). “He’s the one that got away.”

Several years later and it appears that LSU could be making the same mistake again. And this time it’s with Etienne’s younger brother.

Could LSU football pass on another Etienne brother?

Travis Etienne’s younger brother, Trevor, is a four-star running back in the 2022 recruiting class. He’s ranked as the No. 11 running back in the country and the No. 9 player in Louisiana.

LSU has offered Trevor Etienne a scholarship, but he’s not at the top of their recruiting board.

Now, this isn’t the same situation as what we saw with Travis Etienne a few years ago. LSU has a couple of running backs higher than Trevor Etienne, but those running backs are also from Louisiana.

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney reported this week that the rumor is that LSU is “super high” on in-state running backs Trevonte’ Citizen and Le’Veon Moss.

Moss is rated as the No. 5 running back in the country, while Citizen is rated as the No. 12 running back in the country.

This is certainly a tough situation for LSU. The Tigers can’t sign every in-state player. And they can’t sign Trevor Etienne just because of his older brother — the Tigers have to evaluate each running back based solely on their skills.

But if LSU passes on another Etienne brother and then we watch him star somewhere else, it’s going to be awfully tough for Tigers fans — and Coach O — to handle.

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We’ll see how this plays out. But there’s no doubt LSU has a tough decision to make.