Urban Meyer has made it pretty clear about the role he wants Travis Etienne to play for him, and Etienne playing all of his reps at WR at minicamp is just another sign of that (per Ian Rapoport).
After drafting Etienne, here are a few things Meyer has said about him.
On College Gameday he was asked about the Etienne pick. His response: “Well, you look at our history… Curtis Samuel, Percy Harvin, Parris Campbell. I love those kind of players… the game is about speed… he fits the mold of what I’ve had at some of those other positions (I’ve had) over the years.”
Separately, he said “Those (dual-threat players) are hard to find, too, but if you can find one we know how to use him. With him I expect him (to make) an instant impact.”
When he was asked about Etienne at his Post-Draft press conference, he says: “Obviously the name that comes up is Percy (Harvin)… I’m not saying he’s Percy, we’ll find out.”
The position we’re talking about here is his H-back role that he’s given to his most explosive dual-threat playmaker – whether that was at Florida or Ohio State. Having Etienne get the training at receiver in now makes sense, given the fact that his route tree will need to expand at the next level.
When you combine this how much Meyer has talked about prioritizing speed, it does NOT look like Laviska Shenault (4.58 40) is going to be that guy, even though we thought he could be a candidate for that role.
Curtis Samuel was classified as a RB, but played the H-back role under Meyer at Ohio State; in 2016, he had 771 yards rushing, 865 receiving, and 15 TDs.
Percy Harvin played this role for Meyer at Florida; he had two seasons with 1300+ yards from scrimmage, totaling 27 TDs over that time.
The role would potentially entail him seeing 15-20 opportunities/game, but most of that coming in the pass game, which makes those opportunities a lot more valuable. Think Alvin Kamara type of opportunity as his upside, without the goal line carries to start.
The intentions are great, and if it works, he’ll be a fantasy goldmine. The upside is there, so pay attention to his price and the vibes around him in training camp/preseason.