So for the next 10 weekdays leading up to that date, we at TSD are going to rank the 10 best players currently on LSU’s roster. We’ll take a close look at each Tiger, breaking down their career to this point and projecting their impact for the 2015 season.
Today we’re going to start with No. 10 — offensive lineman Ethan Pocic
WHAT HE’S DONE SO FAR
Pocic came to LSU in the 2013 class as a four-star prospect, the No. 4 offensive tackle and No. 59 overall recruit in the country. He enrolled a semester early, and that valuable extra semester of time got him into the two-deep as a true freshman. The coaches decided to move him inside, and he emerged as the backup center, getting one start in his first season. Pocic earned a much bigger role as a sophomore, entering the starting lineup as both a center and right guard.
He opened the 2014 season as the Tigers’ starting center while Elliott Porter served a suspension. By the fourth game, Pocic was at right guard, taking over for Fehoko Fanaika. Pocic finished the season back at center, stepping in for Porter after he went down with a season-ending ankle injury. He’s proven to be one of LSU’s most versatile offensive linemen that can realistically play all five positions on the line.
PROJECTING HIS IMPACT IN 2015
Pocic will return to the starting lineup next season, but where? Many still think Pocic’s brightest future is as a tackle, but the Tigers will go into spring with two veteran options there in Jerald Hawkins and Vadal Alexander. That would mean the former four-star tackle will probably spend another season on the interior.
Pocic could remain at center if LSU wants some continuity, as he would potentially be the only lineman to return to the same spot he finished the 2014 season. LSU has groomed both Andy Dodd and Will Clapp to be the next center, so if one of those two emerges as a legitimate option, then that would free up Pocic to move to guard.
The best move for LSU would probably be to have Pocic line up next to Hawkins at left guard. The Tigers have always loved to load up on power on that side of the line, and the Hawkins/Pocic duo would be a nice replacement for Collins/Alexander. Wherever Pocic does line up, he figures to be a key cog in the trenches for the Tigers. He’s now entering his third spring practice, and he figures to take another big step toward being an impact player on LSU’s line.