2021 Louisiana DT Maason Smith Places Florida Gators in Top 8

Zach Goodall

Consensus five-star 2021 defensive tackle Maason Smith (Terrebonne - Houma, La.) has included the Florida Gators in his top eight schools, which he released today on Twitter.

Smith, 6-4, 320 lbs., cut his list down to UF, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Miami, Oklahoma, Oregon, and USC. One of the top prospects in the class of 2021, Florida kicked off his SEC recruitment by sending an offer in November 2018. 

Considered the No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 20 overall prospect in his class by the 247Sports Composite rankings, Smith has been a force to be reckoned with over the past two seasons at Terrebonne, recording 12 sacks and 36 tackles for loss in that span.

An overpowering tackle prospect with great size, arm length, and strength, Smith bullies his way into opposing backfield to effectively stop the run and pressure the quarterback. Lining up across the line at defensive end, three-technique tackle, and nose tackle, Smith makes his presence known bear strength off the snap paired with good burst and solid immediate pad level out of his stance for his size. 

Smith can effortlessly bull-rush with his combination of size and strength, and also displays a strong rip move when turning towards the quarterback. It may be easier now given his frame and competition, but he also uses a quick swim move when rushing from the interior that often offensive linemen in the ground behind him. It's no struggle for Smith to beat blocks at this level and his college-ready frame suggests he should continue to do so at the next level.

Smith is one of several top defensive tackle prospects the Gators are eyeing in the class of 2021, to join fellow defensive line commits Tyreak Sapp (St. Thomas Aquinas - Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Justus Boone (Sumter, S.C.), and Christopher Thomas (Dunbar - Ft. Myers, Fla.). Florida is also heavily in pursuit of Miami Palmetto (Fla.) defensive tackles Leonard Taylor and Savion Collins, and Armwood's (Seffner, Fla.) Desmond Watson, among others.

2021 UF commits Kamar Wilcoxson and Dakota Mitchell made it known that they are pulling for a Florida pledge from Smith shortly following his top eight announcement.