2021 Recruiting Profile: Florida Gators DT Target Maason Smith
Maason Smith, defensive tackle
School: Terrebonne (Houma, La.)
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 320 pounds
247Sports Composite Rating: Five-star, No. 2 defensive tackle, No. 1 state (La.), No. 20 national
The Florida Gators were the first SEC school to send an offer Smith's way in November 2018, and he's certainly blown up from there.
Smith now holds 12 SEC offers and 30 total from across the country, with programs looking to add the ready-to-play defensive tackle to the 2021 haul. When Smith released his top eight schools on the 4th of July, it was of little surprise that SEC teams - Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Alabama - occupied half of the list.
Florida had Smith on campus for an unofficial visit following his sophomore season in April 2019, five months after receiving his offer from the Gators. Although Florida is currently pushing hard for multiple in-state defensive linemen in the class of 2021, it'd be hard to imagine the Gators not making room for arguably the nation's best defensive tackle prospect.
Long Term Fit
As the Gators continue to rebuild their defensive line depth, Smith provides a high-floor option that can move across the line and make an impact from multiple angles. Playing defensive end, three-technique, and nose tackle for Terrebonne, Smith had proven to be able to do the dirty work in the trenches to consistently apply pressure, regardless of where he lines up.
Simply put, it's hard to stop 6-4, 320 lbs. as a high school offensive linemen, and Smith pairs those physical attributes with plenty of skills that should translate well to the next level. Smith plays with great upper-body strength, using his length and frame to dismantle blocks and wash linemen out of the play rather immediately.
In his sophomore and junior seasons combined, Smith tallied 12 sacks, 36 tackles for loss, and 11 batted passes.
While he isn't a stellar athlete, Smith plays with explosion out of his stance and is quick to get into the backfield to disrupt the play. While he will look to continue adding pass rush moves over time, especially given his length, Smith carries an effective bull rush, rip, and swim move when rushing the passer.
Smith would likely line up at three-technique or nose tackle in Florida's scheme, preferably nose as his size and bear-like strength suggest that he can handle run-defending duties to clogg up the middle. After signing Gervon Dexter and Jalen Lee in the 2020 class - both good fits to play three-technique -, compared to one true nose in Lamar Goods, Smith certainly makes sense at that position should he end up in Florida's 2021 signing haul.