BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU’s defensive line entered the 2021 season as arguably the team’s deepest position group, and the unit showed its potential against McNeese. 6.5 of the team’s eight sacks came from the front four, but freshman defensive tackle Maason Smith stood out among the pack.
Smith collected three quarterback takedowns, 3.5 tackles for a loss and six total tackles. The freshman had the numbers in game two, but head coach Ed Orgeron saw his impact during the Tigers’ season opener.
“I thought he rushed the passer very well against UCLA. He had some great, great moves in there. We using him on third down now. He’s getting better against the run. The guy is monster,” the LSU head coach said.
Coach O wasn’t the only Orgeron Smith impressed. McNeese quarterback Cody Orgeron felt Smith’s presence the entire night. “He said ‘daddy, when my eyes came up, all I saw was number zero, every time,'” Orgeron said with a chuckle.
Smith has become the second freshman in the last two years to make an early impact. Fellow defensive lineman Jaquelin Roy recorded two tackles for a loss against the Cowboys, and the former U-High Cub’s off-season work has shown results in his sophomore campaign.
“Jaquelin Roy has gotten in good shape. He’s learned how to play at this level. He’s a dominant force inside, big physical guy, LSU defensive lineman. Maason had no problem adjusting. He’s done a tremendous job. He’s a great pass rusher. He needs to work on his run defense a little bit more. Both of them will be outstanding players,” Orgeron added.
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