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January 11, 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana
Q. Hey, Travis. How you doing, man?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I'm doing good. You?
Q. Talk about playing for this game, the chance to play in a National Championship. What's that been like?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: It is very exciting, just knowing the opportunity I have to come back to my home state and be able to possibly win a National Championship here, which is really great. It's something you couldn't think of, something you couldn't even script up in a movie. I can't thank nobody but God for the opportunity I have. Going out, executing, making the most out of my chances.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: It is a very small town. It takes a village to raise a kid. I know everybody around there. Everybody was able to -- back in the day, if I was doing something, my neighbors were able to spank me until my mom got there. It kept me humble, kept me -- made me who I am today, made me appreciate things a little more, be thankful for the opportunities in life. Just being here, not many get the opportunity to have that in life. I'm thankful, grateful for that. It has just helped me with my outlook on life.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, it's pronounced Etienne (pronouncing). That's the correct way. But most people at home, they say Travis Etienne (pronouncing) like A-c-h-a-n-e. It is really pronounced Etienne (pronouncing). Once I got the chance to give people the correct pronunciation, I just go with it.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, it is just great. But I mean, it is in the past. Can't really dwell on it. You can't dwell on the what ifs, because not everything goes your way, things like that. You have to make the most out of your opportunities, and life is about how you respond to things, not -- just worry about the things you can control. All that happened the way it happened. I mean, it worked out for both of us. We're both in the National Championship game. We're both better for it.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I just felt like it was a great place. Coach Elliot, he's a great coach. He has made me a great player and a better man. I wanted to grow as a great human. I wanted to grow just in all kinds of ways. Spiritually, Coach Elliot was a great person that coached me, it is important to you, spiritually, things like that. It is a great place for me.
Q. Travis, you heard stuff that was said about you the other day. He was almost apologetic. Did you hear the stuff he said the other day about you?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Yes, sir. I kind of heard through the media. They told me in the last interview. I mean, it is what it is. I mean, can't go back, change the past. I mean, they're definitely tried to rectify that with my little brother. They offered my little brother a scholarship. Just want to do things differently. My situation already happened. Hopefully they learned and hopefully they just take care of my little brother.
Q. Would you say there were bad feelings at that time? How long did it take you before you got past that?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: There was no bad feelings at all. For me, there was no bad feelings at all. It is business. You just have to definitely know that in your mind. I had to make the best decision for me, not for anyone else because I'm the one that's on the field. Things like that. At the end of the day, there was no hard feelings.
Q. You didn't get a chance to play in the Dome in high school, did you?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. Not at all.
Q. Your brother did, right?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Yeah. Yeah.
Q. How excited are you to get that chance now? Obviously, you would have loved it then too, right?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I'm thankful for the opportunity. Can't wait to go out there and just play football, play free football, leaving it all on the field for my brothers. I just want to thank God for the opportunity. Without him, I wouldn't be in this position today.
Q. Travis, did you grow up an LSU fan?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Honestly, I didn't. I grew up a Tennessee Volunteer fan.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I don't know how that came about. I just knew I liked the Volunteers, everything. I was really into them as a kid growing up. When I visited there, I really didn't like it as much. Things just kind of went elsewhere.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Their coach brought me there. They had great players, great teams. I mean, I don't know. I just always was attracted to the Volunteers.
Q. Pat said you were good friends. Anything about that?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: We were playing on the same 7-on-7 team back in high school. We stayed in contact through our college process and in high school. So we definitely talk a lot and we played the game together, things like that. We definitely have a great connection, and I can't wait to go out there and just battle against my friend.
Q. Is your name Etienne now?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: It's always been Etienne.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Yes, sir.
Q. Your brother scored in the Superdome back in the title game. Have you talked about your experience and time a few years ago?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, he tries. I kind of just downplay it. Now we try to -- I don't get into that with him. He definitely goes on and on about it. He's -- he likes to showboat in my face and brings up things. He does have the upper hand on me on that, in that. Shout-out to him. I can't really talk much smack back to him. I haven't done what he's done.
Q. What makes a great running back?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I think a great running back is a running back who's a third down guy, every down guy. Being able to be on the field at all times, impacting the game with and without the ball. I feel that I -- just being able to impact the game with or without the ball. I feel I'm transitioning to that role. Being able to help my team, wherever it is on the field.
Q. What's the biggest thing about playing this year? You talk about some things that happened with your whole family being here and all the media.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, it just has been -- it's been like how it was all season. Just media is always here, always around. There is nothing really different. Can't add added pressure on yourself. That's what I think when you're not playing your best ball. You have to stay true to who you are and trust the process. Just be extra focused in on the game plan and things of that sort. You can't really let the media overwhelm you because it can.
At Clemson, we have great media throughout the whole season. It helps us for this point.
Q. You talk so much about how it means to you to get back on this field. How do you keep your emotions in check?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, that's just because of knowing that your emotions won't win you the game. You could play from your emotions, but that's not going to get it done. You have to play -- you have to execute at the end of the day, and your emotions won't help you in those things. I mean, it definitely will have you fired up, ready to go. At the end of the day, you have to execute and play to the standard.
Q. Do you know half of the LSU's team, at least 10 or 15 guys who played in high school and growing up here. Was there a bunch of guys on this team that you still run across, you know, from childhood to now?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Definitely. I feel like I have played 15, 20 guys that's in high school that's on the team now.
Q. Who would you say that you're close to on the team that you may still talk to? Who do you remember from high school?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, Pat is the only one that I kind of like keep in touch with. I remember in high school playing Tyler Shelvin. I remember playing him. A couple of the defensive guys, I played them, came across them in high school.
Q. Is there a time in your college career that you know as many guys on the other team as you will in this one CH?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Alabama was close. Alabama team last year, it was kind of close. I think this surpassed them.
Q. National Championship, doesn't get any more special than that. Does that make it different for you, being back home, against all of these guys that you sort of know? Does it make it a little different for you?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, not really. I treat it like any other game at the end of the day. That won't win the game. The extra pressure, things, it won't help me at the end of the day play the best ball I can play. I try to simplify things as much as I can and just play. You can't be motivated by external factors. You have to be internally motivated. That's what keeps me going and playing the best four quarters of my life every week.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Me and Tyler Shelvin, I just remember him running around on the field smacking, me included, just a big guy. He was very fast back in high school. I mean, he's just explosive, wreaking havoc on every play. I mean, not much has changed either. You see him on the field now, just being that same dude, just being able to create plays, wreaking havoc on anyone who gets in front of him. So I mean, it's going to be a great match-up again.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: It is going to be a great match-up. You wouldn't want it any other way in a National Championship game. They're the best team and we're the best team. We're both champions at the end of the day. It is going to be a great game. That's what you want in a National Championship.
Q. Is this the best defense you have seen this year you think?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: LSU is a defense of its own. They're a very unique defense. We don't really come out here comparing each defense, week in and week out. You can't get into that. LSU presents a lot of various looks and fronts, and so it's definitely will be a great challenge. You can look at their stats and everything and see they're a great defense. Just the players they have, just really crazy all of the NFL prospects they have on their defense. We're definitely going to go out and play to the best of our ability and execute. We can't beat ourselves because they're a tough defense. To just -- once you get behind the chains, they're a really tough defense to come and fight back.
Q. This year there has been a lot of hype surrounding LSU from fans and media alike, and Clemson has sort of has taken a backseat. Why do you think a lot of people are underrating you guys?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, we don't really get into all that. We can't -- we can't concern ourselves with other players. We just have to take that and just use it as fuel, added motivation. We can't pay heed to that and concern ourselves with how the outside world see us. We know we're a great team at the end of the day, and we know what we have in the locker room. We have to go out there and play to the best of our ability and play for one another, and hopefully the world will see what we're about on Monday.
Q. How did Clemson get on your radar?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, I had decommitted from A&M, and I had no idea where I was going to go, and Clemson just kind of came in and offered me. And my recruitment, it was wide open. I mean, any team could have came and offered me, and I would have been open to it.
And just taking a visit there, I found that I really loved it. It was a great place. It just left an impression on me and my family. I just knew I had to be there.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: It has evolved in so many ways. Coach Swinney has been a great coach. He's going to challenge you to be a great player, holding you accountable for things that you do. But he also wants you to be a great man. He also encourages you to go to church every Sunday and be the best man. Just finding the Lord and believing, just challenging you to believe in what you believe in. Just don't take things for granted. He going to definitely make sure you recognize every opportunity and take the most out of it.
Q. Talking about LSU, (indiscernible). Does that have any effect on you? Were you paying attention when Miles was fired?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. It didn't have any effect on me. I was still open to them, open to the process. I was really open. At the end of the day, I just feel like Clemson was the best school for me, and it happened how it happened.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Honestly, I don't even know -- probably it was their colors. I just remember watching them vividly. I also had a cousin who played for the Volunteers. Watching him, just became a fan of his. Janzen Jackson.
Q. How much did you consider them in the process? (Indiscernible)
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Honestly, no. I didn't think about that at all, no. I mean, Tennessee was like one of my top schools, I took a visit there and everything. Just didn't pan out the way I wanted it to.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: It's very special for me. I'm just happy for the opportunity to get back here to play in front of the home state. I mean, just being able to have all my family here at the game and not having to take an 11-hour drive. It's more like two hours for them. I was really grateful to take that off my parents and them, just their travel, and they'll be able to come home and see me.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Yeah. We got here quite often.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, just the people, the media, the hospitality, how everyone is so friendly around here, how everyone treats everyone.
Q. Any thoughts about LSU playing so close to home, does that make any kind of difference?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I feel like at the end of the day it makes it more special. Makes it -- that's what makes this game more special, coming into this place where there will be LSU fans everywhere. That's what you want from a competitive standpoint, just to go in somewhere at their home and just kind of try to take over it. That will make the opportunity for us just that more much special.
Q. The last time you played in the Superdome, what do you remember from that particular game?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: For me, from that game, I remember getting smacked by Ronnie Harrison. He was coming across the middle, me trying to hit him. I kind of led with my helmet, and I kind of hit my head with his head and kind of was like out the whole first half. And just getting back in the game, and just a game going with Alabama, everything going that way. We not really playing, not executing things that we can -- just a game, just having that feeling of just not knowing that you gave it your all, and there were things that you couldn't control to have the game go differently. That's how I remember it when I think about it.
Q. How much have you thought about it within the context of this particular game? How do you ensure that you have a better story this time around?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Just preparation. Just watching extra film. Just being -- just watching extra film, just being aware of the situation that you have in hand, not taking it for granted. I definitely feel like my first year I wasn't as focused as I am. I was a totally different player than I was freshman year. Taking advantage of my opportunity and just preparation, watching more film and just not taking more for granted.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. I think Amari had heard me say it in my interview, and he was like, really, really? So that's how it came up.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Just when I took my visit there, I just didn't really -- I knew it wasn't the place for me. I didn't just vibe with it.
Q. Who was the ugliest kid growing up?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Ugliest kid?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Probably Sylvester.
Q. Their offense scores 49 a game, best in the nation. How do you put on an offense (indiscernible)?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, for us? Not really. I mean, we're one of the great offenses in the country too. For another team, they'd probably put pressure on them. But we know who we are at the end of the day. We know we have a great offense.
We have to go out, execute, play to our ability, and things will take care of itself.
Q. Talk about college football being (indiscernible) and yet Clemson seems to be in this position every year. Can you explain how year after year how Clemson is out there playing for the title?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Just the closeness that we have here. Everybody playing for something bigger than themselves. We understand who we are at the end of the day and what it takes to get here. I feel like that that helps us at the end of the day. We genuinely care for one another. So I hope we just take our play to the next level. I mean, we're just a -- we have great recruits, a great team, great facilities. I feel the culture here, how Coach Swinney has built a team and put pieces around pieces as we have here. It really works together and helps us to be able to get here year in and year out.
Q. 29 consecutive wins is an awful lot. What's it like to be on a team like that? Not having the experience of losing all those years?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: It is a great streak. But we look at it each and everybody week just getting 1-0. We don't see it as a streak, just a next game, new season mentality each and every week. We try to get a win every week. We think of every game as a season of its own. That helps us to live in the moment and not be overwhelmed by it but live in the moment and prosper in it.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, most definitely. I feel if we reach that 30-0 mark, we'll be in a hemisphere of our own. That's just going off the stats alone. It is definitely going to be great. It is a great challenge. I mean, going out 30-0 against one of the best college football teams in history. I mean, who -- none of us -- if you asked us that three years ago, we wouldn't have known it was possible. Just having the opportunity ahead of us, it is just really great. We understand it is not going to be -- we're not entitled to that, it is not going to be given to us. We have to go out there, fight our tails off, fight for 60 minutes, however long it takes to get there.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. Not really, honestly.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I have always been fast. I mean, I just always knew I was fast. When I go to a camp and run the 40, people are just kind of like wow, who is this guy? Trying to get to know me after that. Things that I saw -- actually I didn't get the first offer until I ran the 40 at the New Orleans combine. I ran that, and I swear I had four offers in that combine alone.
Q. Do you remember the recruiting process, how it kind of blew up for you after that? What do you remember, what were the expectations?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: For me, just growing up in Jennings and not really having top recruits, many people getting recruited from there. For me, I was just very blessed and humbled to get my first opportunity, first offer, which was really great for me. I mean, I had no idea I was going to end up with at least 40 or something offers. It just kind of happened the way it happened. I was very thankful for that. I think I just kind of opened it up for kids at Jennings and just kind of share -- we have great talent there. We have players there who is able the best level and be able to dominate as well.
Q. You're not the same player you were your freshman year. In what ways?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I feel my IQ has grown from a freshman year, I definitely know a lot more. My body has changed completely. Just looking back on my freshman year, I was like 180 soaking wet. Now I'm 210. I just have a different feel for the game. Everything has slowed down. I'm able to play and anticipate things and just a total football player, becoming a complete back.
Q. I'm sure it is awesome for you to come home to your home state. What's the biggest challenge for you? Ticket requests? Trying to share time with everybody here? What's been the biggest hurdle for you to overcome to stay focused at this point?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I really haven't had to deal with that. I knew I was coming. I texted my parents, it is going to be a big game for me, I kind of wished -- I tried to simplify things. I'm not going to be able to have tickets for everybody because everybody is trying to come to the game. I just simplified like that. Got off social media. I haven't really dealt with those outside added pressures, because I simplified that and got away from it. Just focused on the game.
Q. You had a big impact in the game against Ohio State catching the football. What have you seen from the LSU defense leading you to believe that you can have an impact on the ground or camping the football?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, at the end of the day, I can make plays. They're a great defense, the defense presents a great challenge, just the way that -- the people they have out there, the athletes they have out there, linebackers, super fast, just the gap things, definitely is a challenge to run the ball, catch the ball, run in between the tackles. At the end of the day, it is going to be who wants it more. I mean, we'll go out there and fight fro 60 minutes.
Q. Thank you. Good luck on Monday.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Thank you.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, it is really a great opportunity for me to just have my family here. They come to every game. This is just a little different. They don't have to travel 11 hours to get here. This will be a great experience knowing they're here with me. Just looking up there, knowing what they have done for me throughout the last three years and the sacrifice since I have been in college. It will be great. I just want to play the best I can for my mom and dad. They have been so special in my life. Just really motivating me to the young man I am today. Just -- I feel like the only way I could pay them back is to go out there and play free and play the best four quarters I can for them.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, it kind of gets us fired up, him going out there, being able to take licks and just get up and be ready to go again. It is motivating when you have a quarterback ready to go out there and lay it on the line for you as you are for him. It is just really great.
Q. Monday is exactly a month (indiscernible)?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: That's going to be very awesome. Didn't even know that. It is going to be crazy. I just hope with the Dome experience, two totally different outcomes. He took the L. He had a great game. I just want to be able to go in the Dome and rectify his loss as well and come out with the victory. That would be great.
Q. To see him really grow over the years into the player he is now, he's well on his way to having the same experience you had, how is that?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: For me, it is just mind-blowing. Just being able to grow up with him, and now seeing him come into his own man, just him coming to his own self. I mean, he definitely had talent and ability to be a better back than I ever was. I mean, just getting into a game, seeing what he does, I mean, it was really crazy to think that he's so much more out there on varsity doing those things. I mean, it was really mind blowing to me. I'm just very humbled. I feel like we have a great -- he's a great guy. He's deserving of that. Everybody tries to talk to him as my little brother. In reality, he's his own man, he's becoming his own self. He definitely will be better than I was.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. This game is all about playing complementary football. I mean, if our defense gets stopped, we have to get points on the board. We have to put points on the board if our defense doesn't get stopped. So it is just complementary football, everybody playing and working in tandem with each other. Just a totally focused game from special teams, defense and offense, everybody doing their Ps and Qs, going out ready to play.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, we're a tempo team. We do it all season. If it is not broke, don't fix it. We've been doing tempo all season, so don't change it.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, pregame, I've got to put that YoungBoy on. Maybe some Gunner, Lil Baby in there and probably finish off with a couple (indiscernible). Before tip-off, I've got to settle in my boots. I've got to.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I have no idea. Honestly, I have no idea.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. Not until we start rolling into our New Orleans camp. I think it was the opening, the New Orleans opening, I think it was.
Q. How often do you go back to Jennings? What's it like to go there and recognizing what you have got and following with that?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, with my college schedule, I don't get home often. When I do go home, I'm a homebody. I really don't go outside much. I might get a haircut, get my hair done. Other than that, I'm in the house playing a game with my little brother honestly.
Q. Speaking of playing games, you are Tigers, LSU are Tigers, their mascot is Frosted Flakes. I'll give you facts, you tell me which Tiger it is. Isaiah had a difficult time, but I think you'll do better. This Tiger recently got a bowl game named after him?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: The Frosted Flake Tiger.
Q. They're great. The Frosted Flakes bowl. I think it was on ESPN. He graced the cover of GQ. You'll probably be in there one day?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: LSU Tigers.
Q. Tony the Tiger.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Tony?
Q. It was Italian GQ, but it still counts. This Tiger has a daughter named Antoniette?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Tony the Tiger.
Q. Ding, ding, ding. This guy is smart. He knows his cereal. In 1974, this Tiger was named Tiger of the year.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Mike the Tiger, LSU Tiger? No?
Q. Tony the Tiger.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Tony?
Q. This dude is a winner. Last one. Before being picked as the mascot, he was almost beat out by a kangaroo?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Tony the Tiger.
Q. Do you eat Frosted Flakes?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I do. That's my go-to cereal honestly. Go-to cereal.
Q. I'll get you Frosted Flakes right now.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I need them.
Q. Is that okay if I put that there?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Yes, sir.
Q. We the local guys from New Orleans. We have a sports team, they'll ask sport gameday questions, I want to ask you being from Jennings, what's it like to be here in your home state, actually kind of being almost -- you're obviously with Clemson so far away, what's it like to be with your team and most of those guys from Louisiana, do you feel like you're --
TRAVIS ETIENNE: My man! Right there from Baton Rouge!
Q. How does it feel playing back in your home state?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, it is a great opportunity. Man, we have just grinded all year for this. Let them know, you're from here too! Let them know.
Q. No. No. No.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: He's from Baton Rouge. He's right there.
Q. I have to get in to.
Have you talked to those guys at all -- you're obviously focusing on the game right now -- but talking about the food they have to offer here, are you going to enjoy yourself at all? Get Louisiana cuisine, talk to them about what the state is it is known for at all?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: A couple of guys asked me for a couple of spots to eat at. We understand like we had our bowl experience the first time we came here, and we had our bowl experience last game. For us, this is a championship experience. Definitely we'll go out, get some great food. I mean, I definitely have recommendations for them. But we know we're here for the game and we'll keep that in mind throughout the week.
Q. Last question, is it challenging for the family at all? Is your family, are they LSU fans, Clemson fans? Obviously they have to root for you. Is it challenging to the family at all?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. I mean, for our family, it is not challenging tall. I mean, we're family. I mean, my mom, someone else in my family, they wouldn't root against me. That's mind-blowing that people even ask that question. It is my family with me until the day that I die. That's why they're family. Family over everything.
For me, it is going out there, playing for them, I mean, just giving my all for them. My family, my teammates.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: All my friends are Clemson fans. All my friends are rolling with me. I mean, if they're rolling with LSU, they're not my friends. That's not real friendship. I feel like. I'm grateful for the people I have in my life. All these questions tell me things that they didn't roll with me.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. I have had many offers. Alabama was the first offer, I think. Honestly, I mean, things kept rolling after that. I looked at them for a while. I had a visit there. After my first offer, they kept rolling in for me and I just kept getting offers and offers and offers. It was up to me to go through that and see who I really liked.
Q. Travis, when you played Ohio State, that was a game where it turned out that you made some plays in the screen game and Trevor made some plays with his legs. What do you think that said about this team?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I think it's what makes champions. You definitely have to be able to win on any level, anyway. I mean, just having that will to fight and being able to overcome the situation we were in, being down 16-0, and being able to just find a way. That's what makes champions. At the end of the end, it's not always going to pretty, it's not always going to go the way you plan for it to go. Just being able to overcome things, come together as a team, and just find a way to win, I feel that's what the game will come down to on Monday.
Q. A lot of big games, you have been there, are those games that prepare for you for what you'll see Monday night?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I feel like the coverage that we have, week in, week out, through practice, our coaches getting us ready, that prepares us for these moments. Having the great coaching staff, they get us fired up, replicating how the game will be throughout practices getting us ready, and preparing for these moments.
Q. What's the structure of the program that keeps you --
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Just the people we have. I mean, we don't really have any hot-headed superstars here. Everybody is for everyone. We understand we're a team. No one is better than anyone on the team. We understand that. And that keeps us and our egos in check and helps us to be as successful as we are.
Q. What is something that maybe outsiders don't know about your program?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Just the culture that we have there, the people we have there. I mean, just everyone loves up on everyone. We actually care for each other at the end of the day. For us, it is kind of like a family, a family feel for it first, and that's what makes it special.
Q. What's your impression of the LSU defense? What do you think of them?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, what's not to think of them? They're a great defense. They present a challenge. I mean, you definitely have to stay above the chains. When they get in third down situations, they'll bring in that rabbit package. It's very difficult to stop. You've see defenses struggle with that all year. They have a great defense, great personality. They've got Patrick Queen. You've got Grant Delpit back there. You've got AT coming off the edge. Tyler Shelvin. You just have players all over the field making plays and ready to go. I mean, it is going to be a tough challenge for us Monday, but it is not a championship game without that respect.
Q. The feeling is like both offenses will dominate, both offenses are so good. You see offenses running through them, it is like the defense is not prepared --
TRAVIS ETIENNE: This is a championship game. I feel each team will come to play. The defense will come to play as well. They're not taking the day off, our defense or their defense. It is going to be a great challenge. I don't know what to expect on Monday, but I expect a hard-fought, four-quarter game.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Yeah. Yeah.
Q. What's the go-to meal when you're back at home?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Definitely getting fried shrimp, fried catfish. I had a cup of gumbo last night. Like every time I come home, we stop at Lafayette and I get Hot Food Express. I get a pork chop sandwich with the fried rice. I definitely have to have etouffee, whether crawfish or shrimp, definitely have to have etouffee, and I'm a big red beans and rice guy. I'll have that right before I go.
Q. Back to the game, potentially your last game, we don't know that yet, to be back here at home, man, playing in front of so many people that supported you, potentially your last game, how special is that to go out on top, 30 straight wins, two times back at home, how is that?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, like you said, it is very special to have those things lined up with each other, coming to fruition. I mean, I can't thank no one else for the opportunity but God. This could be my last game. Its mind-blowing to go out the way that I can, and just being her back here in Louisiana in front of all my family, friends, it makes that -- it puts the cherry on top, the cherry on top kind of feeling. I'm respectful of the opportunity, and I just want to go out there, make sure that I make the most out of my opportunity, not leaving anything for granted and just play free.
Q. When this game is over, you announce your plans, have you got a plan set, days after Monday, are you thinking about after Monday?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I have no plans set. I'll take a couple of days and talk it over with family and talk to Coach Elliot and Coach Swinney and just -- just get as much information as I can about my decision. At the end of the day, I have to live with the decision, no one else has, I have to make the decision for me and me and my family going forward. Definitely will sit down and talk about it and see what's best for me going forward.
Q. No preliminary conversations with you and your family coming back together? Any chance to talk it over with them, just getting the conversation started?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: We haven't talked much about it, just focused on the game. We don't want to talk about it right now. It's not going anywhere. I have the same chance to talk about it next week too. Just push it back to after the game. After the game, give it a couple of days, and we'll talk, comments with the family on that decision. I can't -- I can't put pressure on my family to make my decision for me. I have to make the decision. At the end of the day, I have to live with it. This is all about just getting the information that I can about the decision.
Q. Did you know each other at all in high school?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. No. We really didn't.
Q. Did you know of him?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: No. When I was in high school, honestly, I really didn't look at football like that.
Honestly, I probably watched a couple of games on Saturday. Other than that, I was -- in high school, I was just being a kid, dirt bites, stuff like that. We kept ourselves busy and didn't have much time for football but on Fridays.
Q. This is one of the biggest games on the national stage. How do you feel about preparing for this moment? Are you preparing well for this moment?
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Just being who I am. Getting back to the basics, just having confidence come through the preparation, in practice. Taking every rep as a game rep and that's going to allow me to be able to play free on Friday -- I mean Monday. Just being in practice, out there, doing my game plan, rolling my game plan from here to the back. I feel that's really what will help me to play free on Monday.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I feel I should have won a lot of things. I can't get into all that.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: So for me, it is just more of -- I have to be better. That just kind of helps me motivate myself to be better in the future.
They can't deny me from -- it is motivation adding fuel to the fire, helping me get better, going back to the drawing board, watching my film, seeing what I could have done better here and how to get better next week.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: Yeah. Definitely. Every kids dreams of playing in the Superdome. Just to have that finally come true, it just really is special. I think every kid from Louisiana dreams of playing in the Superdome. For me to actually have that happen, it is really crazy. When you think about it, not every kid has it. Every kid may dream but not every kid gets the opportunity to. For me seeing that come to fruition, I just want to thank God.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, no. Not at all. I mean, most people that grew up here, they didn't even know who I was when I made my decision. It doesn't surprise me at all.
TRAVIS ETIENNE: I mean, it is crazy. It's crazy how it all sort of just happened. How it all kind of came together. It just is crazy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports