ATHENS — Florida transfer Trevor Etienne is off and running with his new Georgia teammates according to UGA veteran lineman Tate Ratledge.

Etienne, the highest profile running back in the portal this offseason, shared how he chose the Bulldogs over Ohio State and is aiming for a national title on Ratledge’s “Real Talk” Podcast.

“You’re like the first person to walk in this building, and just like, I think everyone likes you, you’ve just got a good personality,” Ratledge told Etienne.

“You’ve definitely come in and made yourself known, but in a good way.”

The Bulldogs are set to begin spring football drills on March 12.

Etienne brings a home run threat to the Georgia backfield and is perhaps the most complete back the Bulldogs’ have had since D’Andre Swift.

First things first, Etienne explained how it’s important to become a good teammate and student of the game.

“Everyone has been welcoming me with open arms …. I’m in this with the long run with ya’ll,” Etienne said.

“Coming from another program, I see how you interact with each other, I see how you all care and love one another, so that made it easier for me to get to know everyone.”

Things were not exactly the same in Gainesville.

“That’s definitely something I’d say that Florida didn’t have, our locker room wasn’t the closest,” Etienne said. “We got along, but coming here and seeing how all the guys get along, I feel like having those skull sessions, I feel like that plays a big part.”

The football will take care of itself.

Georgia player already know Etienne for his explosive running ability, as he broke off a 62-yard run for Florida last year and had an 85-yard gain his freshman season.

Ratledge predicted on his podcast that Etienne would have a game with more than 200 yards rushing this season.

The Bulldogs open the 2024 season with Clemson, a game the Tigers’ all-time leading rusher, Travis Etienne (4,952 yards, 70 TDs), will surely be dialed into.

Trevor Etienne said his big brother has been checking up on him at Georgia, already.

“He really just wants to see me happy, (but) something he’s been on me about lately is becoming a student of the game,” Trevor Etienne said. “That’s something I have to do as a football player.

“He’s been calling making sure I’m staying on track, keeping my head where it needs to be, keeping the main thing the main thing.”

Much like former Georgia star James Cook, who had four-time NFL Pro Bowl older brother Delvin Cook to look up to, Etienne appreciates having a mentor

“It’s a blessing honestly, not everyone can say that they have an older brother who plays the same position, at the highest level possible, and is excelling at it,” Etienne said.

“It’s one of my biggest blessings in life to have that living, breathing example, and someone to guide me if I’m lost or have any questions.”

The Georgia offensive line figures to lead Etienne on the field, and the former Gators’ star is eager to learn to follow.

Trevor Etienne told Ratledge he plans to watch film with the Georgia offensive linemen to get a better idea of what they are thinking on each play, which will make him even more effective running the football.

Etienne averaged 5.75 yards per carry and ranked 11th in the SEC in rushing last season with 753 yards, clearly the most impressive runner on the Florida team.

Gators coach Billy Napier, however, started Montrell Johnson ahead of Etienne, leaving many Gators’ fans and observers puzzled.

Etienne explained how it all factored into his decision to leave Florida and come play for Georgia.

“I felt like there was a lot of uncertainty, so like, a lot of questions were unanswered,” Etienne said.

“Pretty much to sum it up, it was like, I can either be Running Back Two on a losing team, or go somewhere.”

Etienne said Florida State and Oklahoma attempted to contact him the first five minutes after he entered the portal, but his choice was going to be Ohio State or Georgia.

“I wanted to play in December, too — that also played a big part in me transferring,” Etienne said, explaining his desire to play in the postseason.

“So I said, I can stay and be Running Back Two on a losing team or go somewhere and possibly be Running Back One and win a natty.”

Ratledge, a likely preseason All-SEC pick and future NFL starter, made his thoughts clear on that topic.

“That (national title) is the goal,” Ratledge said. “Came up short last year, probably shouldn’t have.”

The addition of Etienne, along with the growth of rising sophomore Roderick Robinson, figures to give the Bulldogs a strong start in the run game entering spring drills.