The Tigers lost star defensive lineman Maason Smith in their season opener against Florida State, but this unit is locked in on dedicating the 2022 season to their brother. Smith, who many believe had the chance to be an All-American candidate, suffered a torn ACL on the first drive against the Seminoles.
We’ve seen several guys fill in to get the defensive line rotation flowing better, but it’s hard to bring to the table what Smith can. Rather than try and be the next Maason Smith, this squad is coming together as one to be better for each other.
Dedicating the 2022 season is just part of what the Tigers are doing to keep Smith’s spirits up.
“We told him we got him and we’re going to fight for him,” Jacobian Guillory said on Tuesday. “This season is for Maason. I told him right after it happened ‘We got you’ and I meant that for the rest of the season that we are playing for him.”
Smith underwent surgery on his injured knee Wednesday morning where we saw a myriad of teammates hurry to social media and wish him a speedy recovery.
It’s no secret the level of play Smith is capable of. A 5-star, Top-10 prospect in his class, the lethal pass rusher has all the makings of being a first-round draft pick when his time comes.
His knee injury is just a small hiccup in his story, and the youngster trusts the process and handles it well.
“He’s handled it so well. He’s so positive about it,” Guillory said. “Maason isn’t an outspoken guy, but he’s handled his business really well.”