I can't remember the last time going into a season an LSU offensive lineman had a chance to realistically start at any of four positions up front.
With Ethan Pocic, however, that is the case.
Now some of those scenarios are more likely than others to begin the 2015 season, but the versatile junior could possibly end up at either guard spot, center or right tackle.
Ironically Pocic's future in the NFL could well be at left tackle, but that's an area the Tigers have solidified this fall with options of Jerald Hawkins and Vadal Alexander, two returning fourth-year players.
So which of the other four spots will Pocic occupy when the Bayou Bengals welcome in McNeese State on Sept. 5? Let's examine.
Left Guard: In this scenario position coach Jeff Grimes feels comfortable with William Clapp as a first-year starter at center. Clapp was quite impressive in the spring and started the spring game at center while Pocic was at left guard. The other thing that would land Pocic here, aside from Clapp at center, is someone taking the reins of the starting gig at right guard, whether it be Josh Boutte or K.J. Malone.
Center: The interesting thing about Clapp and Pocic is that it appears the coaching staff, in particular Grimes, sees them as interchangeable at left guard and center. So this is really just the inverse of the above situation. Pocic has been thrust into the mix as a center on several occasions, most recently to end last season after Elliott Porter sustained an injury. This would be nothing new for the 6-foot-7 lineman, even if he's more than a few inches taller than your normal center.
Right Guard: For Pocic to end up at right guard, one of two scenarios would have to play out. Either Clapp plays left guard while redshirt sophomore Andy Dodd takes over at center, or one of the aforementioned guards above (Boutte, Malone, possibly Garrett Brumfield or one of the incoming freshmen) stands out as a better candidate for left guard. Neither of these scenarios is likely. Hard to see anyone other than Clapp or Pocic starting at center, and all of the alternative guard options have been better fits at right guard to date. The leaner, more mobile Pocic on the other hand fits the bill of a Les Miles left guard. Still, what makes this option intriguing is that Pocic has logged more starts at right guard than anywhere else in his LSU career.
Right Tackle: Some shuffling would be involved for Pocic to kick out to right tackle. First off Alexander would have to be moved back inside to a guard spot, most likely left guard where he played the last two seasons. That's a distinct possibility. After that Grimes would need confidence in whoever he plugged in at right guard. Basically the fifth lineman Grimes chooses - that next guy up - would have to be better-suited at guard than tackle. Then there'd be a spot here for Pocic. If the next guy up, maybe a Jevonte Domond, is better at tackle, then Pocic would stay at guard or center.
At this juncture in late May, I'd rank those possibilities this way, starting with the most probable: Left Guard, Right Tackle, Center, Right Guard.
No matter where he lands the flexibility Pocic provides Grimes is pretty remarkable.
Where will Pocic play?
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