BATON ROUGE, La. — Whittling down the 10 best players on the LSU football team this season was no easy task. And properly ordering them into those 10 spots once we broke it down that far may have proven even more difficult.
But we at SEC Country gave it the old college try as we count down the top Tigers during the next two weeks. When it’s over, feel free to let us know what you think we got right — or wrong.
No. 6: Center Ethan Pocic
The jury has spoken when it comes to Les Miles’ style of offensive football. Though it proved antiquated in recent years, there is no question he recruited the right pieces to pound opponents in the running game.
One of the centerpieces of that approach was center Ethan Pocic. The 6-foot-7 senior was one of three national finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which is annually presented to the top center in college football.
Pocic and fellow interior linemen Will Clapp and Josh Boutte paved the way for Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice to average a combined 7.3 yards per carry.
Pocic was one of five LSU players named to The Associated Press’ All-SEC first team and was a Football Writers Association of America first team All-American.
He was credited with just one sack allowed in 2016 and led LSU with 92 “knockdown” blocks.
Pocic is the most difficult player to replace in LSU’s offense.
We’ve already seen what Guice can do without Fournette on the field. What we haven’t seen is what LSU’s offensive line can do without its anchor. That is just one of many challenges facing Ed Orgeron in his first year as LSU’s full-time head coach.
As for Pocic himself, most have him trending as a second-round caliber pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. His versatility — he was a guard at LSU before being moved to center, and also started a game at right tackle this season — figures to be a major selling point.
Top 10 LSU players
No. 10: DL Davon Godchaux
No. 9: LB Duke Riley
No. 8: RB Leonard Fournette
No. 7: OG Will Clapp