April 24, 2024

Report: DUI charge puts ex-Gator Trevor Etienne’s starting job at Georgia at risk

Etienne is a midyear transfer from Florida, where he led the Gators with nine touchdowns in 2023 and emerged as one of the team’s most dynamic playmakers.
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An arrest on drunken driving and other charges could endanger Trevor Etienne’s projected role as Georgia’s new starting running back only months after his transfer from Florida.

If convicted of the DUI charge, Etienne faces a suspension of at least one game.

Athens-Clarke County police arrested Etienne early Sunday on charges of drunken driving, failure to maintain a lane or improper driving as well as affixing materials that reduce visibility through the windows or windshield, jail records show.

According to a statement released Monday by Athens-Clarke County police, an officer “observed a vehicle driving recklessly” at approximately 1:50 a.m. Sunday near the University of Georgia. Police stopped the grey sedan, driven by Etienne, 19.

Etienne was booked into the Athens-Clarke County Jail at 4:35 a.m. and released less than an hour later on bonds totaling about $1,800. It was not clear if Etienne had obtained a lawyer.

According to Georgia’s team policy, athletes convicted of DUI face a suspension of at least one game. Georgia’s season-opening game will be against Clemson on Aug. 31.

“We are aware of the charges and are currently in the process of gathering additional information,” Steven Drummond, Georgia’s executive associate athletic director for strategic communications, said in a statement provided to The Associated Press. “This is a pending legal matter and we will not have further comment at this time.”

At the start of spring football practice on March 12, coach Kirby Smart said Etienne had made a strong first impression as he learned the Bulldogs’ offense while preparing to compete for a starting job. Smart said there are similarities in the Georgia and Florida offenses and Etienne has adjusted quickly to the new playbook.

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“Getting comfortable in the offense, there are nuances,” Smart said. “I have met with him about it. There are differences in the way we do things offensively that he is picking up on. He is very bright. That is not going to be a problem for him.”

Etienne is a midyear transfer from Florida. As a sophomore, he led the Gators with nine touchdowns. Etienne is the younger brother of former Clemson star and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne.

Smart acknowledged last year he has struggled to find ways to get his players to drive safely. In January 2023 — hours after Georgia celebrated its second straight national title — offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy were killed in a crash while LeCroy and defensive tackle Jalen Carter were racing.

There were at least 15 traffic stops involving members of the Bulldogs’ football program driving excessive speeds in 2023, including three instances of driving under the influence, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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