Next up in the 2021 recruiting class film study series, I take a look at junior college transfer offensive lineman Caleb Etienne. Before we take a look at the JUCO product, you can find my previous breakdowns in this series below:
Etienne was rated as a three-star prospect while playing for Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He held offers from Kansas, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Tennessee and UNLV before eventually committing to play with the Rebels in June 2018. The talented offensive tackle then decommitted from Ole Miss in February 2019 and decided to attend junior college at Fort Scott in Kansas.
Etienne started at left tackle for the Greyhounds and appeared in all 10 of their games during the 2019 season. He then transferred to Butler Community College last season, however, the Grizzlies season was delayed from the fall to the spring, and Etienne never got a chance to see any live game action.
His recruitment started picking up after his one season at Fort Scott, and 247Sports had him ranked as the No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 31 overall JUCO prospect. Etienne picked up offers from Arkansas, East Carolina, Hawaii, Houston, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Southern Miss, Texas Tech and UCF before narrowing his list down to Houston, OSU and TTU last October. He eventually committed and then signed with the Cowboys in late 2020 and arrived in Stillwater last week to participate with the team in summer workouts.
I was told that Etienne measured in at 6-9.5, 356 pounds when he checked in last week, and he’s expected to compete for the starting left tackle spot on the OSU offense. The Pokes don’t have a lot of depth or experience at that position, but they do return redshirt sophomore Jake Springfield who saw a good amount of action there last year. Although, another redshirt sophomore, Taylor Miterko, was getting a good amount of reps at LT during the spring.
I was able to watch several of Etienne’s games during his time at Fort Scott, along with some practice and team scrimmage film from his short stint at Butler. Below I’ll breakdown his game and take a look at his skillset as he gets set to play on the offensive line for the Pokes.
I’m sure it won’t be any surprise to know the first thing two things that stood out to me on Etienne’s film were his size and strength. He has insane power in the run blocking department. Etienne consistently did a nice job of pushing people around and creating space for the ball carrier during his time in junior college.
Additionally, he did well to fire off the ball and immediately establish contact with the defender. Etienne has great grip strength and once he gets his hands on you, there’s not really much you can do.
Also, his punches are normally on point, and his heavy hands were knocking defenders backward on contact at the JUCO level.
I do think he needs to continue approving on his mobility, which will allow him to excel in lateral or angular blocking situations. In addition, due to his height, he has the tendency to be too upright, resulting in him losing some leverage. These are both things I believe he’ll improve in Stillwater.
Similar to the run blocking game, his size and strength play a huge role in pass protection, as you’ll see in the clip below.
He does an excellent job of using his length to keep pass rushers at the end of his reach, and he is always battling to make the path to the quarterback a difficult one.
Etienne is committed to taking up a lot of space off the snap, and does well to take away favorable angles from the defender. His initial jump off the line of scrimmage is great, and he can normally set himself up in a favorable position. Etienne also has good body flexibility for his size and he’s able to stay in front of defenders initially. However, as I mentioned in the section above, he has to improve his overall quickness.
Etienne had some issues with speed rushers off the edge, and though his solid positioning and large frame would hold them up initially, he sometimes struggled to move his feet with the defender … and this resulted in a few sacks given up for the big offensive tackle.
Blocking in Space
Now, I’ve been knocking Etienne’s foot quickness, but he actually moved pretty well when pulling around the line of scrimmage or blocking someone at the second level. Once he gets going, it’s pretty impressive how well he can move for a guy his size.
Etienne also doesn’t lose much strength when blocking on the move, and he still managed to apply some massive force when blocking linebackers. He’s also able to make up for lacking in lateral foot quickness by taking good angles and squaring up defenders in the open field.
I think there are still several areas for improvement for Etienne, but it did look like from the Butler CC practice and scrimmage tape I watched that he has to improved his quickness and lateral agility. If the Cowboys roll him out as the game one starter, I wouldn’t be surprised, and I feel pretty confident that he has the tools to get it done. Additionally, he’s got a year of experience playing left tackle at the junior college level, and he spent and entire offseason and fall working out at this same position for another JUCO last year.
Some of what Fort Scott did on offense will translate well to what Cowboy offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn likes to run. With a full summer and fall in Stillwater, I don’t have any doubt that the OSU coaching staff can help Etienne get to where he will be a solid tackle on the left side of the Cowboy offensive line. I’m excited to see him play this season and feel like he could be a huge asset to this year’s squad.
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