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How Maason Smith’s Replacement, Jacobian Guillory is Doing?

Guillory had played nose tackle in high school and was a four-star prospect out of Alexandria when he arrived on campus in 2020.

He played in 11 games last season with no starts, but under the new coaching staff, Guillory said he’s seen the most change in his physique going into this season. He was 6-foot-2, 331 pounds when he arrived on campus in 2020 and now weighs 315. 

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But his muscle composition went up, while his fat percentage went down. That has benefitted his technique. 

“I can bend a lot better,” Guillory said. “Bending for a defensive lineman is really, really, really important. I’m just noticing, watching the tape, my body more smoothly so like, I feel like that’s that’s been my biggest thing.” 

That’s especially important in Matt House’s defense, where he’s not just playing nose tackle in a 0-technique, tasked with blocking the gaps between the center and the guards, but also in a 3-technique, where he aligns between a guard and a tackle, on the outside shoulder of the guard. 

This can happen because House’s defense presents both three and four-man fronts. 

“We’re all over the place,” Guillory said. “You never know what you’re going to get.” 

Despite Smith’s absence, LSU’s defensive front has been the highlight; with both BJ Ojulari and Ali Gaye being critical pieces of the pass rush on the edges, the Tigers haven’t suffered much defensively. 

The Tigers held Mississippi State to 75 rushing yards and tallied four sacks on quarterback Will Rogers.

But Guillory made it clear: this season is for Maason Smith.

“I’ve been knowing Maason since I was a sophomore in high school, he’s been like my little brother since then,” Guillory said. “We (Jacquelin Roy) told him that we got him and that’s what we’re going to fight for.”