HOOVER, Ala. — At 6 feet 7 and 309 pounds with elite athletic ability, LSU offensive lineman Ethan Pocic looks more like a left tackle than a center. Discussion about his potentially moving from center to left tackle for his senior season has been had this offseason in Baton Rouge, but Pocic seems likely to remain at center.
“I see myself as a center, and it’s really about what’s best for the team,” Pocic said Thursday at SEC Media Days.
“Ethan Pocic returns to center,” Les Miles said in Hoover when asked about his team’s offensive line. Miles mentioned Maea Teuhema, Will Clapp, K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby as the team’s other likely starters on the line.
Teuhema started at left guard as a true freshman a year ago, then moved to left tackle this spring. With fellow sophomore Clapp having been recruited as a center, despite starting all 12 games at guard in 2015, the thinking on the bayou among those who feel Pocic is best utilized at left tackle goes that Clapp should move to center and Teuhema stay at guard, allowing Pocic to move outside.
Pocic said he has taken reps at left tackle and GridionNow’s Matt Moscona, who covers the Tigers, believes he is easily the team’s best and most versatile offensive lineman, making speculation of a move understandable.
Pocic cites arm length as an advantage of playing center at his height, but admits staying low and keeping a low center of gravity can be difficult.
Whichever position he plays, he’ll be doing so coming off surgery that caused him to miss spring practice. Pocic had successful surgery in January to correct a genetic issue in his left hip. Excess bone material existed in his hip, constricting movement and causing tears to his labrum and cartilage.
“(Surgeons) scoped it, cleaned it up, fixed the labrum and it feels great now,” Pocic said. “I feel 100 percent; I feel even better than before.”
Pocic considered an early jump to the NFL. To demonstrate how important he was to the 2016 team, Miles met with Pocic and his parents in the hotel lobby the morning after the Texas Bowl to spell out his vision for Pocic’s future.
A pro career seems a given for Pocic, who is from the Chicago suburbs. Moscona says the NFL scouts he talks to tell him Pocic projects to the NFL as interior lineman, similar to the Seattle Seahawks’ Max Unger.
(You can follow Chadd Scott on Twitter @ChaddScott)
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