Star Georgia Running Back seemingly Throws Shade at Former Team

Former Florida and current Georgia halfack Trevor Etienne made interesting comments regarding his former team. What did the top-ranked rusher in the transfer portal say about the Gators?

Florida State v Florida
Florida State v Florida / James Gilbert/GettyImages

Georgia football running back Trevor Etienne, who transferred from Florida via the transfer portal after last season, seemingly threw shade at his former program. Etienne shared his interesting perspective on his move to one of the premier programs in the country and his aspirations. What did the former Florida halfback say that could potentially irk gator nation?

Etienne made an appearence on a podcast titled "Real Talk Georgia", which is a podcast that supports Georgia Football, Etienne's new home. The former Gator spoke freely about his departure and conveyed his ultimate aspiration as he heads to Athens.

"To pretty much sum it up, it was like I can either be RB2 on a losing team or go somewhere...i wanted to play in December", Etienne said. As far as being on a losing team, Florida did indeed finish the 2023 season 5-7 and failed to qualify for a bowl game. The Gators lost five straight games to end head coach Billy Napier's second season in Gainesville. In the backfield, however, halfback Montrell Johnson Jr. was the leading rusher for the Gators as he rushed for 817 yards and five touchdowns while having averaged 5.4 yards per carry. Etienne accumulated 753 yards on the ground along with eight touchdowns while having gained 5.7 yards per carry.

Etienne's move to Georgia can be seen as controversial for Gators fans, yet understandable. Georgia football has been one of the most dominant programs in the country over the past three seasons. Head coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs won back-to-back national championships ('22-'23) and lost only two games since 2021 ( vs Alabama in SEC Title Game '21 and '23). The Bulldogs along with rising star quarterback Carson Beck are set to be one of the heavy favorites heading into the 2024 season. The former Florida halfback aims to not only take the reigns in Georgia's backfield, but also win a national title for a program that is primed and ready unlike Florida.

The move for Etienne can understandably upset Gator nation, as his comments can come off as throwing "shade" by conveying that the Florida program is a "losing team". The statement isn't wrong, as the Gators finished below .500 in 2022 (6-7 including bowl loss) and last season having finished with only five wins, which are the only seasons Etienne was a member of Florida football. Perhaps Etienne could've used a different choice of words, but the Gators will have the chance to take down the Bulldogs on November 2nd, which is when Florida football visits Athens, Georgia.

Etienne is expected to be the main rusher for Smart's offense heading into 2024, as former Georgia halfback Kendall Milton declared for the 2024 NFL draft.