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LSU DTs Maason Smith And Jaquelin Roy Plan ‘To Cause A Lot Of Havoc’ This Season

BATON ROUGE – LSU finished 10th in the Southeastern Conference and 65th nationally in total defense last season. It was seventh in the league and 46th against the run.

But during spring practice, the interior of the Tigers’ defensive line had a new look.

Defensive tackles Maason Smith, who is healthier after missing four games last season with a leg injury, and Jaquelin Roy, who appears stronger and more consistent, have looked like grown men instead of inconsistent talents.

“Oh man, we’re going to cause a lot of havoc this year,” Roy said. “I definitely feel like we’ll be better in the run game. We both got stronger, both more athletic, both bigger. I’ve been lifting, bro.”

Roy, a junior from University High on the LSU campus, made 30 tackles last season in 13 games with six for losses and 1.5 sacks with three quarterback hurries in an inconsistent season.

Smith, who was the No. 1 defensive tackle in the nation out of Terrebonne High in Houma in 2021 and No. 2 overall prospect, made 19 tackles in nine games with four sacks, but did not completely live up to his recruiting rankings.

Both will have a chance to show their new and improved selves at the Tigers’ spring game on Saturday (2 p.m. eastern, ESPN +, SEC Network +).

“I want to flash a little bit for the fans, let ’em know I’m definitely coming this year,” Roy said.

“With me getting hurt mid-season last year, I really feel like I have something to prove — not only for everybody, but for myself,” Smith said.

Each of them has the size to be a force in the SEC. Roy is 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, while Smith is 6-5 and 298.

“I feel like Jaquelin has the attributes to be another Glenn Dorsey — somewhere in there,” Smith said.

Dorsey is only one of the most decorated defensive linemen in college football history, having won the Lombardi, the Outland, the Bronko Nagurski and the Ronnie Lott awards while at LSU in the 2007 season before becoming the fifth pick of the NFL Draft in 2008.

“Yes, sir,” Roy said when told of Smith’s comment. “I’ve got a lot of power coming out of the hips, especially in the run game. I’m trying to be more consistent in practice, doing the whole practice and not getting tired. I’ve been doing that.”

Smith, the No. 1 recruit in Louisiana a year ago, arrived at LSU as the next Dorsey, but things did not work out that way.

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“I could’ve done a lot better last season if I would’ve gotten to progress,” Smith said. “I was getting better and better as the season went on before I got hurt. And I just feel like I have more to prove. I think we’re both going to be great this season. We’re better as a group now. I’ve definitely been in the weight room and trying to get better at technique and being more tactical.”

Because of injuries throughout the line last season, Smith played on the edge and inside and may play in both spots this season.

“I was making some plays, but it wasn’t really who I truly am,” he said. “I knew I had the talent to do it, but I didn’t know if I could do it every day and get more consistent. I think I’ve grown up now, and I’m trusting my eyes and my power.”

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau has been on the LSU beat since 1998 with multiple outlets in Louisiana, prior to that he had covered both Auburn and Alabama. He won first place for his game feature on LSU's upset at Florida last season from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also named Beat Writer of Year, by Louisiana Sports Writers Association in July; placed in three Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) categories – Beat Writer, Explanatory, Game Coverage – last spring. Guilbeau was also the FWAA first-place winner for columns in 2017 and was also the top overall winner in 2016 FWAA placing first for his game story, second in columns, and receiving honorable mention for features.

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