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Two Young Defensive Linemen Could be the Next Great Ones for LSU Football

Roy, Jackson are comparable to a number of past LSU defensive line legends

The history of LSU football needs to be seen through a lens that discusses defense first. At the front of the conversation, defensive linemen.

There have been many great defensive ends and defensive tackles that played for LSU. So many, in fact, it’s impossible to write about even 10% of them. With that, LSU needs to find it’s next great one.

At the very least, LSU has two prime candidates amongst a very talented group. First, here’s a trip down LSU’s memory lane.

Recent stars like defensive end Arden Key (now with the Las Vegas Raiders), defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (NFL player from 2008-2016), and defensive end Danielle Hunter (now with the Minnesota Vikings) made playing against the LSU defense a difficult task. Sacks, deflections, fumble recoveries and tackles for loss was the name of the game for all three players.

Key was the raw pass rusher gifted with excellent length and speed. Hunter was the savvy edge rusher that sometimes ran down players from behind that weighed forty-pounds less than him. Dorsey, meanwhile, manhandled more than his fair share of interior offensive linemen.

All three players were great, and all three players made big plays his own way. That’s what made each of them unique. If LSU can find at least one more player in the mold of any of the aforementioned trio, the Tigers will hold a better chance of returning to the college football playoff.

For this comparison, one commitment and one prospect getting ready to play his first game as a LSU Tiger will be discussed. While it would be unfair to place the burden of being the next Dorsey, Key or Hunter on the shoulders of any LSU defensive lineman or current commitment, there is a standard of excellence to live up to in Death Valley. Two players, amongst many candidates, come to mind. Up first, a big-time talent from the Lone Star State.

Landon Jackson, DE, 6-6, 240-pounds Texarkana (Texas) Pleasant Grove - 2021 LSU Commit

This would not be the first time discussing Jackson on this site, nor shall it be the last. He’s a very unique player because he’s fast enough to play weak side defensive end, yet provides the frame to fill out into a strong side defensive end.

Either way, Jackson knows how to get after the signal caller, and that’s a trait every major college football program covets. Here are four plays that might allow LSU fans to remember Hunter and/or Key, as Jackson possesses skills similar to both players.

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Jackson’s versatility, especially his ability to move laterally in space, makes him a potential big-time college football player. LSU will likely be able to move Jackson to either defensive end spot because of his overall athleticism and football IQ.

Whether it’s a screen pass, defending the read-option, speed rushing, or simply chasing down the ball carrier, Jackson provides the talent to make the play. He’s a rare defensive end prospect.

Besides Jackson, one specific LSU prospect could also be the next great player. A young man that just enrolled at LSU and arrived last week could be just as devastating as Jackson, albeit from the interior.

Jaquelin Roy, DT, 6-4, 310, Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab - 2020 LSU signee

When a player surpasses 300 pounds but is still capable of making plays on the edge, it’s about as unique a skill set as a prep prospect can possess. That’s Roy. He lined up at multiple spots for University Lab, and he terrorized offensive linemen regardless of playing inside or outside.

Physically speaking, Roy possesses a taller frame than Dorsey, but his style of play is reminiscent of the former LSU great. Tremendous lateral quickness to defeat blocks from the snap of the football, and the strength to overpower offensive linemen with a bull rush are his main attributes. Roy’s multitude of talents allows him to destroy offensive game plans if he’s left with a single blocker.

Maybe Roy’s ability to pass rush, despite being over 300 pounds, will prove to be his best asset for the Tigers. Finding an interior presence that continually pushes the pocket and also penetrates to create negative plays is generally one of the biggest tasks for LSU and every major college football program. Here’s a look at three plays made by Roy that presented his raw power, quickness, and agility. He’s a natural football player.

While LSU continues to stockpile top-flight defensive linemen, these two young men present unique physical features that could lead them to being superstars down the line. With LSU's history of defensive line excellence, both players will be held to a very high standard in an effort to be the next great one”for LSU.