LSU Football: True freshman expected to ‘break out’ for Tigers in 2021

LSU Football ahead of a matchup against Alabama(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
LSU Football ahead of a matchup against Alabama(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

True freshmen typically don’t contribute a lot in college football, but there are always exceptions to that rule. And LSU football may have one of those exceptions.

Earlier this week, 247Sports’ Chris Hummer named a true freshman from each program in that SEC that could potentially break out in 2021.

It shouldn’t be a surprise who they picked for the Tigers.

Hint: It’s LSU’s highest-rated signee in the 2021 recruiting class.

And that would be five-star defensive tackle Maason Smith — a Louisiana native who was rated as the No. 19 overall player in the 2021 recruiting class.

“Maason Smith is already making waves in Baton Rouge as an early enrollee with strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt comparing him to a ‘more flexible’ Michael Brockers,” Hummer writes.

“I’m confident that Smith will, at worst, work his way into the rotation,” added Hummer. “At best, he’s an interior upgrade following a season in which Farrell and Logan combined for just two tackles for loss.”

Earlier this spring, Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron told reporters that Smith was “becoming a starter in the rotation”. I don’t know exactly what that means for Smith’s playing time in 2021, but it seems clear that Orgeron is counting on the true freshman to be a key part of LSU’s defense this season.

Maason Smith isn’t the only potential breakout true freshman candidate for LSU football in 2021

LSU signed the No. 3 recruiting class in the country during the 2021 recruiting cycle, which means the program has several true freshmen that could end up contributing this season.

One of the players I’m extremely interested to see is five-star defensive back Sage Ryan, who hasn’t enrolled yet at LSU. Ryan is one of the most talented safeties in the 2021 recruiting class.

Ryan hasn’t practiced yet, so it’s unfair to place high expecations on him just yet. But Orgeron said last month that he’s counting on Ryan in 2021.

“I’m counting on Sage Ryan coming in, Matthew Langlois coming in,” said Orgeron during an interview with 104.5 in Baton Rouge (via USA Today). “I’m counting on those guys coming in and contributing right away for us.”

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It’s clear the Tigers have plenty of talent on the roster. Some of that talent may be young, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see them contribute in 2021.