LSU Tigers star defensive tackle Maason Smith reportedly received some unfortunate news on Monday.
According to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, Smith will miss the rest of the 2022 season with a torn ACL. The sophomore suffered the injury in the first quarter of Sunday's season opener against Florida State while celebrating a stop on defense.
Smith appeared to tweak his knee when he jumped up and down on the field. He was examined in the medical tent before walking back to the locker room with a noticeable limp. He was seen walking on crutches after halftime.
A native of Houma, Louisiana, Smith established himself as one of LSU's top players on defense as a freshman last season. He racked up 19 tackles, five tackles for loss and four sacks on his way to being named a Freshman All-American. He was expected to play an even bigger role in his second season.
The 6'5", 300-pound defensive lineman was ranked as the No. 20 overall prospect in the class of 2021 in 247Sports' composite. Smith was also the No. 5 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 1 prospect in the state of Louisiana. He committed to the Tigers over offers from elite programs like Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma.
The loss of Smith is another early-season blow to LSU. The Tigers are the only SEC team that didn't win its season opener this past weekend after falling to the Seminoles in disappointing fashion. The team had the opportunity to force overtime after scoring a touchdown as time expired, but the extra point was blocked to end the game.
LSU will be back in action on Saturday against Southern. Sophomore Mekhi Wingo is expected to replace Smith in the lineup.