Will Ethan Pocic start for LSU?

Ethan Pocic came to LSU as a four-star offensive tackle. Could he be the Tigers' starting center when they square off against Wisconsin next week?

Will Ethan Pocic start for LSU against Wisconsin? The signs are starting to point that direction.

Earlier this week, Les Miles said during a post-scrimmage press conference that Pocic was in line for significant playing time against the Badgers. Miles took it one step further during his radio show Wednesday night, hinting that Pocic could be one of the first five linemen to take the field.

“Ethan Pocic will play in the first game,” he said, “if not start.”

Core 6 Athletes President/CEO Paul Szcezsny, who worked closely with Pocic during high school, also said Thursday morning he’s heard that Pocic’s already been notified that he’ll be the Tigers’ starting center on Aug. 30.

Miles likely won’t give any public indication whether that’s true until the season finally starts, as he typically plays personnel decisions close to the vest. But one thing that hasn’t been kept secret is the level of excitement LSU has for Pocic.

The Chicago native came to LSU as a four-star prospect, the No. 4 offensive tackle in the country. He enrolled early for the spring of 2013 and quickly garnered praise from the coaching staff. He started practicing at left tackle but also at guard and center, then spent his freshman season as the backup center behind Elliott Porter.

Pocic played in six games as a true freshman, starting one against Furman. He played a total of 102 offensive snaps in 2013 and recorded 11 knockdowns. He was also the center on the field for Anthony Jennings' 99-yard touchdown drive in the season finale against Arkansas.

Based on his success in 2013, a story line of the 2014 offseason became whether Pocic could supplant Porter by the start of the season. In the first week of camp, Pocic was seen receiving first-team reps at center during portions of practice open to the media. That battle continued as camp progressed, and it now appears that Pocic has won the job.

We’ll know for certain where exactly Pocic lands in the pecking order when LSU takes the NRG Stadium field in nine days. In the meantime, premium members can discuss whether Pocic should start on the TSD Message Board by clicking the link below.

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