Cover Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
Ethan Pocic is a 6’7, 309-pound offensive lineman from LSU. As of now, he is Walter Football’s first rated center prospect going into the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s an All-American, two-time all-SEC member, Five-time SEC lineman of the week and Rimington Trophy finalist. Coming out of high school he was a 4-star recruit with offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan State, Ohio State and Florida State. Known for his great sense of humor and his tireless work ethic, Pocic was a fan favorite in Baton Rouge. He took time out of his busy day to talk football, life and everything in between.
LPI: First off, you’re a Chicago suburb kid, what’s your go-to food when you’re home?
EP: Portillos, without a doubt.
LPI: You surprised a lot of people when you left the state of Illinois for Louisiana and LSU, what made you chose LSU?
EP: With my brother Graham going the big ten route and playing at Illinois, I kind of wanted to do my own thing. I felt like I had a good opportunity to win a national title at LSU. I wanted to do something different and create my own path. I loved it down there, and I really fit in with the people.
LPI: Last season you were a projected mid-round draft pick, what made you decide to stay and come back for your senior year?
EP: More than anything I really wanted to come back and leave a legacy and win a National Championship. Also, It was an opportunity to get healthy; I had a hip injury that would have hurt my stock. I felt like I had unfinished business at LSU.
LPI: Tell us a little about your draft training and how it’s all going?
EP: Currently, I’m in San Diego training at EXOS. I’m working with coach Hudson Houk who was an offensive line coach for 29 years in the NFL. He’s had a bunch of great linemen, like Tyron Smith and Larry Allen. Personally, I think he’s like the Yoda of offensive lineman. Right now, we do two lift/run workouts a day, Monday through Friday. Saturday is just a lift. Tuesday through Thursday we have position meetings in-between workouts. I’m really just enjoying the whole experience
LPI: You elected to play in the Senior Bowl next week, what are you looking to prove there?
EP: I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of playing against great competition and get NFL coaching. I think it’s a great opportunity to play in front of pro coaches and scouts. I’m not sure what position I’ll be playing at the next level, but it’s an opportunity to be versatile and play other positions.
LPI: Your parents actually moved down to Louisiana to be with you and see you play. How much of an impact have they had on your life?
EP: My family members are my biggest fans. And I’m so thankful for them doing that. They made a big sacrifice moving away from home. My mom actually switched jobs doing that. They’ve made sacrifices for me, and I’m very thankful for them.
LPI: Your brother Graham was a great player at Illinois and went on to play at the next level. What kind of an influence did he have on your football career?
EP: Graham really set the bar high for me. He was always a positive role model on and off the field. He really showed me how to handle myself, work hard and most importantly put everything I have into the game.
LPI: Let’s change it up a little, how often would you say Les Miles eats grass?
EP: I’m not really sure because he was really sneaky about it because it’s always just one blade of grass. If I were to estimate, probably around six blades of grass per-game.
LPI: Who wins in an arm wrestling match Derrius Guice or Leonard Fournette?
EP: You know it’s probably one of those things where none of them win or get tired. It would just last for like 24 hours.
LPI: What is something people don’t know about you?
EP: I bowl overhand.
LPI: What is your favorite memory from LSU?
EP: When my teammate Alex Cheramie busted out the worm at the student appreciation practice.
LPI: What’s the biggest thing other than football that you’re going to miss about LSU?
EP: Just hanging in the locker room and just messing around with my buddies. Mainly, having a good time with my friends.