Elliott Porter hopes he left his mark at LSU

Elliott Porter is doubtful at best to return for LSU's bowl game, but the injured lineman remains optimistic even if his college career has come to an end

Don’t tell Elliott Porter he won’t play in LSU’s bowl game.

The LSU center suffered a serious ankle injury against Arkansas and hasn’t returned to the field since. No specifics have been officially released. Les Miles called it a “knick below the knee.” Porter simply said it was an “ankle injury,” though most speculate it’s broken.

So you’d expect he’s doubtful at best to play against Notre Dame, but Porter errs on the side of optimism.

“It’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before, nothing I haven’t gotten over before,” Porter said. “I’ll be OK. I’m just rehabbing and trying to get back as soon as I can.”

The injury itself was an unfortunate twist of fate. His own teammate, Terrence Magee, was the culprit after lunging for a block and rolling up on Porter’s ankle. He doesn’t hold the running back responsible though, calling it “the nature of the game.”

Porter’s been in a walking boot and on crutches since coming off the field in Fayetteville. He jokes that he doesn’t take a golf cart around campus — as injured players typically do — because he wants to get his arms stronger with the crutches. He hopes to be off them next week though, and “thank God for that,” he said.

He’s spent the better part of the last month rehabbing that ankle with hopes that his LSU career hasn’t come to an end.

“You always think of the positive side, the positive vibes,” Porter said. “Everything’s going to work out. Everything’s going to get where it needs to be. That’s all I think about. I don’t look down on it. I just keep on rolling. I’ve been through worse situations. Trust me. This is nothing.”

Porter has certainly been through some bizarre moments in the last five years. A native of the Westbank in New Orleans, Porter committed to LSU in July 2009. He signed his National Letter of Intent the following February and enrolled to go through summer workouts with the team.

But when Jakhari Gore surprisingly qualified academically, that left LSU with more 2010 signees than the Tigers had scholarships. So LSU offered Porter a greyshirt, which sent waves of criticism toward Miles for his handling of the situation.

Porter opted to leave LSU and head to Kentucky, where he redshirted for the 2010 season. His stint in Lexington would last only one semester, and he returned to Baton Rouge the following spring.

He made his first career start in 2012, then started all 12 games at center in 2013. He was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season before returning to the starting lineup. He played in the next nine games before suffering that ankle injury.

Ethan Pocic has filled in, and Porter couldn’t give enough praise to the man that’s replaced him.

“Ethan Pocic is the man,” Porter said. “I hope y’all realize that. Ethan Pocic’s going to be one of the best linemen to leave here in years. I give credit where credit’s due. Ethan’s smart as can be. He doesn’t need any advice from me…He’s special, very special. You don’t see too many like Ethan Pocic.”

You don’t see too many like Elliott Porter either. He manages to keep a smile on his face despite knowing that his LSU career is likely over. Facing the uncertainty of his professional future, Porter still has more optimism than most would have in his situation.

So how does he hope he’s remembered?

“I think I left my mark,” Porter said. “That’s what I can say. It’s a big thing for me. I really think I left my mark. I thank this place for everything they’ve done for me, making me the man I am today.”

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