Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
During the College Football Playoff Media Teleconference Tuesday, head coach Ed Orgeron was asked about Clemson star running back Travis Etienne and his recruitment.
Etienne, a native of Jennings, Louisiana, was recruited late by LSU but ended up at Clemson.
Q. You were the interim coach in 2016, so, obviously, you were kind of in a tough spot there recruiting, but how many times did people kind of ask or had you heard about how did Travis Etienne get out of the state of Louisiana?
ED ORGERON: All the time. Hey, I wonder how it is. I know how it happened, and every time I watch -- every time I heard about Clemson play or every time I've seen him having success, I'm sick to my stomach. Obviously, we like our running backs. We've got great running backs here, but we wanted Travis Etienne at the end, but it was too little, too late.
Q. What do you recall about Travis' recruitment and kind of the decision at the end to try to pursue him?
ED ORGERON: I was an assistant here. Travis kept on coming up, kept on coming up. But one reason or another, we never offered him a scholarship, and then after I became interim coach, we had a couple of players that we had been recruiting for a while. We thought we were going to get them, and we thought, if we offered someone else, we may lose them. Then we got shut out. I offered Travis really late at interim. I had a home visit with him, told him how much we wanted him, but it was too little, too late. He had made up his mind already.
Something that I think we should have done a better job of, we should have recruited him at an earlier age, like we do all our great Louisiana backs, and keep them in state. He's the one that got away.