Player Profile Series: Taylor Lasecki

Our player profile series continues with a look at OL Taylor Lasecki!

Taylor Lasecki

Position: Center

Size: 6-3, 296

High School: Frisco

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Recruitment: Coming out of high school at 6-3 and 288 pounds, Lasecki did not have to do much growing in order to adjust to the college game. That's also why there were so many schools that were interested in the first-team all-district center from Frisco. Lasecki drew interest from the likes of Washington, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, however once SMU offered the offensive lineman, he made his commitment and stuck with it.

2012 Review: After red shirting as a true-freshman, there were high hopes for Lasecki, but no one could have predicted just how well Lasecki would fit into the Mustangs' offense.

Not only did Lasecki start all 13 games in 2012, but he also was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team. With Lasecki being the center, he was faced with the task of making quick judgments calls at the line of scrimmage during games. Although there were some growing pains for the youngster, with the help of the veteran offensive linemen around him, Lasecki blossomed into one of SMU's most reliable offensive players.

As the season progressed, Lasecki became more comfortable with the blocking schemes, helping in the improvement of his pass blocking, which he struggled with at times. By the end of the season, the sophomore was barking out calls and giving reads like a seasoned veteran.

2012 Grade: B+

2013 Preview: Following spring practices, Lasecki was named to the 2013 Rimington Trophy watch list which honors the most outstanding center in college football each year. The SMU center is one of 44 centers nation-wide to be named to the watch list, so to say there is some pressure would be an understatement.

Lasecki will be one of two returning players on the offensive line, and now that he is in his third year at SMU, look for the coaching staff to rely more on him as a vocal leader in the huddle and locker room and more responsibilities will be given to him. Now that he has a full year under his belt, he may be asked to take on interior defensive linemen one-on-one, unlike last year where because he was young and surrounded by seniors Blake McJunkin and Jordan Free.

While Lasecki may not take home the Rimington Trophy in 2013, he will improve on his 2012 campaign and contribute as one of the veterans on the offensive line. Having had an entire off-season to work on his games, look for Lasecki's pass protection, run-blocking footwork and confidence to improve from last season. If the Mustangs want to be as productive with the running game as they have in the past, they will need Lasecki to play every bit like a Rimington Trophy candidate.

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