NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Standing 6'5", weighing in at 320 pounds, Maason Smith strikes fear into opponents with his appearance alone. Once he hits the field, you understand why Rivals recruiting service ranks him the No. 1 defensive tackle in America. Smith is the total package.
“He’s everything you want out of a d-lineman. He’s going to be disruptive in the pass game, he’s going to be disruptive in the running game too. Most of the times Maason demands a double team,” said Ernest Harvey of Camp Moula.
The Terrebonne Tiger didn't start his football career on the defensive line. Which, is a great reason why he's so versatile now.
“When I started playing football when I was six, I actually started as a running back. When I hit the third grade, I kind of gained some weight. I started to eat, and progress, because I was always tall, but never big. But I was never really the type of kid to be real slow. I used to always get with the fast guys, and I used to race people. It was kind of like that, just carrying on as I’m getting bigger, I still have that drive,” said Maason Smith.
That drive keeps offensive lineman up late, late at night figuring out how they're going to stop Smith. Last summer, a one-on-one drill didn't turn out so well for a friend.
“I remember we were going against each other. He thought I was going to go inside, and bobbed him to the outside. He came back after that and he was like, 'I can tell you’re going to the SEC bruh, you’re the biggest fastest dude I went against,” said Smith.
Smith will graduate from Terrebonne High in December. So his decision on what college to attend will come soon enough. Coach O and the LSU Tigers are one of the schools in the running for this one-of-a-kind talent.
“It’s definitely different. They really include me in a lot of stuff. For the Florida game, my mom came down because she lives in Mississippi, and Coach O actually walked us to the 50. Which is really cool. He walked my dad and stepmom down for Utah State. They show a lot of hospitality to me and my family, so it’s really great,” said Smith.
Coach Orgeron's favorite position on the field, is where Smith stars on Friday nights, defensive line. O played the spot in college, and continues to coach the line at LSU.
“He’s honestly the only head coach I can think of off the top of my head that’s a defensive line specialized coach in America. Especially at a big school like LSU. That’s definitely something that’s good,” said Smith.