Senior center Elliott Porter will not play in LSU’s home opener Saturday against Sam Houston State as he completes the second of a two-game suspension handed down by the school, multiple sources told The Advocate on Thursday.
Porter sat out last Saturday’s 28-24 win over Wisconsin in Houston as part of the suspension. It stems from abnormalities in his pay from a summer job, two sources said. An official in LSU’s compliance office declined comment when reached. The suspension is expected to be lifted starting with LSU’s third game, set for next Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe.
A team spokesman declined comment Thursday evening.
Sophomore Ethan Pocic started in place of Porter in the comeback victory over the Badgers. He’s expected to start at center against Sam Houston State, coach Les Miles said this week. Miles suggested Wednesday that Porter would not play against Sam Houston but did not give a reason.
Porter, a Waggaman native who attended Archbishop Shaw, started all but one game at center last season. He entered 2014 preseason camp No. 1 on the depth chart and was on the watch list for the Rimington Award, given to the best center in the nation.
By the season’s opening week, Pocic had usurped Porter for the starting role, Miles said then. It’s unclear when Porter’s two-game suspension was handed down.
Porter joined cornerback Rashard Robinson as starters suspended for the season opener. Robinson’s suspension is unrelated to that of Porter’s, and he’s expected to return to action Saturday.
Pocic, a 6-foot-7 Illinois native, is set to make the third start of his career. He started one game for an injured Porter last season. Evan Washington, who lost the starting right guard job to Hoko Fanaika, has received reps at center, Miles said Wednesday.
It’s unclear whether Porter, 6-foot-4 and 297 pounds, will regain his starting spot upon his return. Miles said last week that Pocic won the job because of his “height and size.”
“Maybe just a little more range,” Miles said of Pocic.
Porter and Pocic were involved in a tight competition for the starting gig last preseason camp.