Player numbers are synonymous with the LSU Tiger football program. The numbers 7 and 18 are exclusively awarded to players worthy of recognition. However, for Alexandria, La., native, Jacobian Guillory, the number 90 has a great deal of personal significance.
Defensive tackle is undoubtedly the most selfless position in football. Their main job is to eat up blocks and double teams in order to open up opportunities for their teammates. They rarely get to light up the stat sheet or spend any time in the spotlight. The unselfish nature of the position fits perfectly into Guillory’s archetype.
Guillory started playing football in middle school. He immediately took pride in representing his school on the gridiron. He carried that same pride for his school through high school and now to college at LSU. LSU was the first Division I school to offer Guillory an athletic scholarship. Being from Louisiana, receiving that scholarship offer was the moment he knew football was his calling.
Guillory plays for reasons bigger than himself or even his school. During his early childhood, his mother tragically passed away.
“My mom never got to watch me play a football game,” Guillory said. “Going out there playing with that chip on my shoulder, I’m playing for my mom, my dad, my sister, the name on my back, that’s the best part.”
Guillory’s motives keep him going through the long and grueling day-to-day routine that comes with being an LSU football player.
“The biggest challenge by far is the process,” Guillory said. “Practice, fall camp, waking up early, basically everything people don’t see. People don’t understand what we put our bodies through week in and week out. They only see the end result.”
There has been no shortage of end results during his time with the Tigers. He was a key contributor on the 2022 LSU squad that finished the season 10-4 and SEC West champions, far exceeding expectations.
When asked about the most rewarding part of playing football, Guillory said, “Winning the games, especially the games people don’t expect you to win; for instance, Alabama last year. No one expected us to win, so coming out with a win was just something I can’t even explain.”
Football is the ultimate team sport. Players like Guillory are necessary for building a winning culture within a program. LSU has a history of being a national powerhouse within the college football landscape. Under a new coaching regime, LSU football is looking to improve upon its already prestigious legacy.
LSU’s previous successes have resulted through the efforts of players like Rashard Lawrence, a former Tiger defensive tackle who was in Baton Rouge from 2016-2019. Lawrence, who now plays for the Miami Dolphins, was a captain on the 2019 national championship team and is also a great friend of Guillory’s.
Guillory met Lawrence on a cruise ship when he was in the ninth grade. At the time, Guillory was just a high school freshman who had no idea that he would also play football at LSU. Lawrence even gave Guillory the nickname, “Tank,” which people close to Guillory still call him to this day.
Guillory showed respect and admiration for the former captain saying, “The things he did on the D-line, winning the national championship, winning the defensive MVP against UCF (in the Fiesta Bowl), that’s my guy.”
When Guillory arrived at LSU, his choice of number was a no-brainer. Guillory wears the number 90 to pay homage to Lawrence, who also wore the number 90 at LSU.
It is truly a great sign for Tiger fans to know that one of the current defensive tackles gets along so well with such a decorated and well respected Tiger alumnus. Lawrence made a name for himself as a leader of the team and was prominent in creating the culture that was responsible for winning a national title.
Guillory seems to share a lot of the same qualities that made Lawrence so great. His selflessness is exactly suited for the defensive tackle position. Guillory, along with his teammates, hope to fill the shoes of all the great LSU Tigers before them.