JACKSONVILLE – Travis Etienne Jr. feels great.
That's significant because he didn't feel great for much of the last year – and as Etienne sees it, that difficult year feels very much behind him these days.
"Things are looking up," Etienne said. "My outlook right now is as bright as it's ever been, really."
Etienne, a second-year running back and the No. 25 overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft, joined senior writer John Oehser recently for the O-Zone podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the feeling around the organization under first-year Head Coach Doug Pederson.
"Going into it, you have to feel great," Etienne said of the voluntary offseason program that began this week around TIAA Bank Field. "I feel like with everybody getting back together, we all have hope. We all know the best is yet to come. The vibes are really great now."
He also discussed the significant injury that ended his rookie season before it began – a Lisfranc injury sustained in a preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints that kept him out the entire 2021 season. Etienne said he feels he is 85-to-90 percent recovered.
"I feel really great now," he said. "My foot feels great. I'm almost there. I'm not there yet, but I feel like once camp comes around, we'll be rolling."
Etienne, the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-time leader in total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and rushing yards, called the Lisfranc his first significant injury.
"I really just leaned onto my teammates – my mom, my dad, my family, scripture: Lean on to not your own understanding," he said. "I know this was much bigger than me. I can't try to make sense of it. I just have to make the best of the situation. I feel like that's how I've been able to keep moving forward every single day.
"I feel like God sat me down for a reason and I'll be able to show the world who I am this year."
Etienne, who played with Lawrence at Clemson University from 2018-2020, said he his confident the No. 1 overall selection in the '21 draft will improve from his rookie season.
"I feel like Trevor's going to be Trevor Lawrence," Etienne said. "I feel like he's going to show you why he was the No. 1 draft pick. Just him having that first year under his belt, he learned a lot from that. I feel like Trevor's going to respond the way Trevor knows how."
Listen to the full O-Zone Podcast featuring Etienne below.