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Insider

Elliott Porter settles in at backup center

8/15/2012

When offensive lineman Josh Dworaczyk started cross-training as LSU's across-the-line utility man, he was asked about taking snaps as the second-team center.

"Well, I think the first guy who will get the call after [starter P.J. Lonergan] will be Elliott Porter," Dworaczyk said.

That's a testament to how for how far the sophomore from Waggaman. La./Archbishop Shaw has come at the position. A high school defensive lineman, Porter has had to learn the ins-and-outs of arguably the most demanded position on the offensive line.

"It's a lot better since the spring," said Porter. "The things that I have done to get better, the workouts, it's a lot better. Come the fall, I'm going to be ready."

To appreciate how far Porter has come, one has to see where he came from. A three-star recruit coming out of high school, he signed with LSU, but after being asked to greyshirt, opted instead to enroll at Kentucky. After a season at UK, he opted to transfer back to LSU, sitting out last year.

"I'm at the school where I want to be," he said. "There's nothing like playing in front of 100,000 people."

Porter has clearly impressed LSU's coaches and players and looks like the odds-on favorite to replace Lonergan next year. The key, Lonergan said, is that Porter is completely committed to a position that presents a lineman with unique challenges, from calling out blocking assignments to other linemen to having to make good snaps on every play.

"The hardest thing is being able to snap the ball, then doing what you want to do aggressively," said Lonergan, an offensive guard coming out of high school. "You have to fire that thing back there [to the quarterback], but you still want to come off the ball, know the play ... you have a lot of responsibility there."

Lonergan has been impressed with how his backup has quickly learned the nuances of the position.

"He's come a long way since the spring," he said.

Not quite ready: LSU coaches were excited to land cornerback Dwayne Thomas of O.P. Walker in the 2012 class. For now, at least, it looks like he's more a player of the future than a player of the present.

"He's one of those young guys I had a vision on when I said a young guy who may need more time," Miles said.

Thomas has worked behind fellow true freshman Jalen Mills, who is contending with redshirt freshman Jalen Collins to replace Tyrann Mathieu at cornerback.

Scrimmage: LSU has its second full scrimmage set for Thursday afternoon. As usual, it will closed to the public.

Head coach Les Miles will address the media after the completion of the scrimmage.