RECRUITING UPDATE: Elliot Porter
Shaw’s Porter switching lines to the offensive side
By RICHARD MEEK
Tiger Rag Recruiting Contributor
Initially the notion seemed preposterous.
Elliot Porter spent a lifetime playing defensive end, including two-time All-District honors at Archbishop Shaw High School in Marrero, where he devoured offensive lineman like a mid-afternoon snack on his way to the quarterback.
Imagine his surprise when LSU offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, during the Tigers High School Summer Camp in June, suggested Porter consider moving to the other side of the ball.
“I thought, ‘This is different,’ ” said Porter, 6 foot 3, 275 pounds. “I participated in a few drills and it seemed to go okay. I liked it.”
But skepticism remained entrenched, at least temporarily.
“It took a while for me to commit,” said Porter, who earned All-District honors this past season despite missing the first six games because of a knee injury. “Then I thought about all of the success defensive players had moving to the offensive side of the ball and it’s been tremendous.
“It’s a great chance for me to be a top player at LSU and take it to the next level. It’s a better choice for me.”
Even Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather was surprised by the move.
“(Porter) told me he really enjoyed the (offensive line) drills,” said Bairnsfather, who added Porter did not play one down for the Eagles offense.
“When LSU told me they would offer him (a scholarship) I told them it’s all up to him. He had been recruited by Florida State and Texas Tech, but he’s one of those kids that if he had the chance to go to LSU, he would do it.”
Porter understands the challenges that await him and said the summer will be spent in the gym working on his size as well as his speed. He has been timed at 5. 1 seconds in the 40-yard run and has bench pressed 385 pounds.
“I’ve never played offense before but I k now what I’m capable of doing,” he said. “I want to be the best and will not settle for less.
“There is still a lot for me to learn and that will only come through taking reps. Once I learn, I will be an All-SEC and All-American. That’s the confidence level I have. I want to be the best guard in the conference and am willing to work my way up to do it.”
Bairnsfather said Porter, who had 11 sacks in 2008, will eventually use his defensive mindset to his advantage once he learns the intricacies playing offense.
“He brings a defensive lineman’s feet and mentality to the position,” Bairnsfather said. “He has quick feet and is able to move up and down the line.
“He’s got the size plus he’s been attacking his whole career. That will work for him.”
For now, Porter is content to “pack on a few pounds” and possibly spend a red-shirt season while absorbing a whole system of technique, reads, and blocking.
“I believe I will have an advantage coming from defense because I know the tendencies of linemen and what they are thinking,” Porter said. “Red shirt will be up to me and how I develop.”
The Tigers coaches are hoping he’s a quick study.