Player Profile: Taylor Lasecki

The Pony Stampede staff profiles every projected starter for SMU football. Today, Omar profiles OL Taylor Lasecki.

Taylor Lasecki

Position: Center

Size: 6-3, 296

Year: Junior (redshirted)

High School: Frisco

Hometown: Frisco, Texas

Recruitment: Coming out of high school at 6-foot-3 and 288 pounds, Lasecki did not have to do much growing in order to adjust to the college game. He was first-team all-district at center his senior year in Frisco and received interest from numerous schools, including Washington, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. However, once SMU offered the offensive lineman, he made his commitment and stuck with it.

2013 Review: SMU had major problems across the offensive line throughout last season, but Lasecki didn't disappoint. He started all 12 games at center for the Mustangs in 2013, extending his streak to 25 consecutive starts. He was part of an SMU offense that set numerous school records, including having the second highest total offense in school history.

Lasecki struggled at times with pass protection, but was really SMU's only consistent piece up front all of last season. He took on a much more of a vocal leadership role with a young offensive line unit that needed all the help they could get. Lasecki improved a lot as the season went along and really came on strong towards the end with terrific run blocking and improved footwork. He may not have taken home the Remington Trophy, but he played solid for the Mustangs and deserves credit for being an anchor in the middle.

Grade: B+

Outlook in 2014: For the second year in a row, Lasecki has been named to the Rimington Trophy watch list. He is one of 64 players in consideration for the 2014 award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding center in college football, so he will have some pressure on him to perform.

Lasecki will be the seasoned veteran on the offensive line and the coaching staff will be counting on him to take on even more responsibilities this year. He will be asked to take on interior defensive linemen one-on-one much more, while barking out calls and giving reads before the snap. Lasecki will also need to improve on his pass protection from last year to help either Neal Burcham or Matt Davis at quarterback.

With the loss of Ben Gottschalk at left tackle, SMU will have a lot of questions across the offensive line once again this year. It will be important for Lasecki to be that consistent leader in the middle who can help the younger players with blocking schemes and learning the nuances of the Run N Shoot. He probably wont take home the Rimington Trophy, but Lasecki will be by far the most important and talented offensive lineman for the Mustangs in 2014.

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