LSU center Ethan Pocic was named as a finalist for the Dave Rimington Trophy on Monday, which will be given out on Thursday, December 8 at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards show. The Rimington will be announced during the ESPNU Red Carpet show preceding the event.
As one of the top offensive linemen in LSU’s history, Pocic started all 11 games for the Tigers in 2016, with 10 starts coming at center and one at right tackle. He led all LSU offensive linemen in total snaps played (680), knockdowns (92), and “great effort” plays (33). He had double-digit knockdown blocks in four games, including having a season-high 14 knockdowns in a win over Texas A&M, allowing just one sack all season.
Because of his exemplary play, Pocic earned the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honor three times in wins against Missouri, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. With Pocic at center, the LSU offense averaged 238.1 rushing yards per game and allowed only 18 sacks all season, the second-lowest total in the SEC. LSU running backs also had record games as Leonard Fournette rushed for 284 yards against the Rebels, while Derrius Guice ran for 252 against Arkansas and 285 in the season finale at Texas A&M to set a new single-game school record.
“Ethan Pocic is an amazing young man. He is attentive to detail, driven toward success, passionate about the game of football and ferocious when he snaps his chin strap. He is bright, coachable and fearless,” LSU Offensive Line Coach/Running Game Coordinator Jeff Grimes said. “In 24 years of coaching, I have never coached a young man who prepared better, cared more or worked harder. He is deserving of any award that might be given to him for the way in which he played the game his senior season.”
The Rimington Trophy committee will determine the winner based on the All-America selection made by the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America. The center with the most first-team votes will be selected as the winner.
Didn’t know that about how the award is actually decided. LSU’s Ben Wilkerson previously won the award in 2004. LSU’s offensive line was selected by Pro Football Focus as the top unit in the country this season. The Tigers led the SEC in yards per play at 6.82, yards per rushing attempt at 6.2, and finished tied for second in sacks allowed, and third in tackles for loss allowed on the season.