Updated: Feb 27, 2022
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
We continue our count down of LSU Odyssey's Best XI Tigers of 2021, and much like last season's Top 10 Tigers of 2020 list, we were forced to analyze a season which will live on as a dangerous time for LSU, a scary year full of uncertainty and disappointment....
However, through it all, many Tigers treated fans to individual & collective brilliance at an elite level, showing out for the Tigers Community in our darkest, most desperate hours of need.
Who stepped up when LSU needed them most?
We reveal our Best IX Tigers of 2021.....
And this may surprise some, but I feel the eye test agrees with me wholeheartedly:
JAQUELIN ROY (DT)
30 TACKLES (15 SOLO)
6 TFLs (6th)
4 QB HITS
2 FR (1st)
1 FF (2nd)
Due to an increase in reps once DT Joseph Evans left the program, sophomore Jaquelin Roy was on fire for the majority of 2021, following up a highly promising freshman campaign by providing yet another tantalizing preview of his raging, diabolical arts.....and he started his second year with a bang:
When the smoke cleared after the first two games of LSU's season, Roy's 93.0 grade stood as the highest among all defensive linemen in America....
Playing from the bench during these first two games, many a talent scout, analyst or LSU fan had their minds blown when the Tigers' own hometown hero pulled off a lunging strip and fumble recovery (within the same move) on McNeese QB Cody Orgeron, a play which will long live in my memory;
That play was a sickeningly fantastic display of athletic menace, arriving on a night where Roy also snapped up a career high 2 TFLs.
The Baton Rouge madman's work clogging the interior, occupying guards and centers, allowed DT partner Neil Farrell Jr to repeatedly penetrate the opposition backfield, #92 usually having free reign due in no small part to the former U-High prospect's battering ram efficiency.
Both profited from the other's crafty work, although 2021 became Neil's turn to attack the backfield, with #99 often occupying or bulldozing while #92 fought off or through a blocker before making the plays....often as Roy followed right behind.
If not for Roy's tireless work on the inside, perhaps Farrell Jr shines, but maybe he starts attracting more double teams without an interior partner who possesses the cut and thrust devilry or mechanical drive of Jaquelin Roy's theater of doom.
His official stats won't prove anything, however the magic is in the film, much like any great defensive tackle:
Roy's performances against Alabama, Florida, and Arkansas were all next level, with his grading from Pro Football Focus and Yahoo Sports only trailing Farrell Jr in overall defensive rating for a few major SEC West battles; #99 also picked up a monumental, drive-killing sack vs Texas A&M, and in doing so, Jaquelin finished off 2021 in dominating fashion.
The U-High Legend deserves a place among our best XI, not only due to his influence along an intimidating front, but for his ability to adapt, changing roles from his usual 3 technique to a 1 or 0 nose with relative ease, selflessly assisting Neil Farrell Jr, B.J Ojulari, Damone Clark or Micah Baskerville's constant backfield entrances, as well as being the only defensive lineman (outside of Andre Anthony) to create a turnover....and during limited reps, Roy had his hands on 3, the second most of any Tiger behind only Damone Clark.
STAY TUNED FOR IX
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
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