RB Etienne leaving Gators, former Jennings star among five area players in NCAA transfer portal

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 8, 2023

Since the NCAA’s transfer portal winter window opened on Monday, thousands rushed in to find a new landing spot, including five Division I football players with Southwest Louisiana roots.

Former Jennings High all-state running back Trevor Etienne was among the most recent and one of the highest profile athletes to enter the portal.

After two seasons at Florida, where he signed out of high school as a four-star running back, Etienne threw his name into the pool on Thursday. Etienne posted an announcement on his social media account.

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“Gator Nation, what a ride it has been!,” Etienne posted. “I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to put on the orange and blue every Saturday, going to war with my teammates who would become my brothers for life.

“With that, I would like to thank Coach (Billy) Napier and the entire Gator staff for the continued support and guidance in my time at UF. A special thank you to Coach (Jabbar) Juluke for being a great teacher, mentor and role model in these past two years. You’ve undoubtedly made me a better man both on and off the field. My time as a Gator was an invaluable experience, and one that I will cherish for years to come. At this time, I will be entering the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining. The marathon continues.”

More than a 1,000 players entered the portal when it opened on Monday, ESPN reported. The winter portal will close on Jan. 2.

Etienne will be one of the most sought after running backs in the portal. He played in 11 games, making one start for the Gators this season, and was the 10th leading rusher in the Southeastern Conference with 753 yards and eight touchdowns on 131 carries. He also made 21 receptions for 172 yards and a score.

His best performance was on Sept. 16 when he crushed then-No. 16 Tennessee for 172 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries to lead the Gators to a 29-16 win.

As a true freshman in 2022, Etienne ran for 719 yards and six touchdowns and 2,281 all-purpose yards in two seasons.

Etienne, the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguar and Clemson All-America running back Travis Etienne, helped lead Jennings to the Class 3A final in 2019 and quarterfinals in 2020.

Louisiana-Lafayette safety Cejae Ceasar, Florida lineman Keenan Landry and New Mexico State wide receiver Glynn Johnson III entered the portal on Wednesday, and Purdue receiver Curtis Deville on Monday.

Landry, a 6-foot-1, 305-pound sophomore defensive lineman, joined the Gators as a preferred walk-on in 2022 after one season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he made 31 tackles with one sack. He played one game in 2022 and two this season.

Landry played for Jennings’ 2019 state runner-up team. He has two years of eligibility left.

Ceasar, a 6-3, 205-pound defensive back, will have two years of eligibility left. He made five tackles in six games for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Deville (6-2, 210) never appeared in a game in two seasons for Purdue and has four years of eligibility left.

Ceasar (Class of 2021) and Deville (2022) both played multiple sports at Iowa High School.

Glynn Johnson, who played on Lake Charles College Prep’s 2020 state semifinalist team, has two years of eligibility remaining. He had 12 receptions for 101 yards as a freshman in 2021 but saw limited action this season with two catches for 13 yards and one rush for 15.