DITR: Ervin Smith

The Catholic High School Bears have been known for their outstanding skill position players, especially at the running back position, but most recently, the Bears are starting to turn out great offensive linemen. The LSU Tigers have a great player already that is coming off a standout freshman season at right tackle in former Grizzly great Emery Jones. Now, the Bears have another offensive lineman that is ready to make some noise up front and he still has two more years of high school left to play. His name is Ervin Smith.

Playing for one of the biggest powerhouse high school football programs in the state of Louisiana at the highest classification, the 6’2, 275 pound offensive lineman was going up against some of the best talent at defensive end in the state at left tackle and did it as only a sophomore at the varsity level.

“My biggest strengths would be my natural body strength and my footwork.”

In the highlights, Smith showed how physical he can be as he was driving defensive linemen into the ground quite often for the Bears last season whether it was with his pass blocking or his run blocking.

“I love being able to block my opponent and protect my quarterback. I actually love both run blocking and pass blocking. With pass blocking, I’m able to use different types of hand movements to keep my opponents away.”

As a sophomore, Catholic High School offensive lineman Ervin Smith started at left tackle and protected his star quarterback Daniel Beale against some of the state’s talented pass rushers. (Photo courtesy of Ervin Smith)

The Bears were quite dominant last year on the offensive line leading the way for star running back Barry Remo II while giving fellow star quarterback Daniel Beale a clean jersey throughout the season, and while they did it with a senior heavy group, Smith showed that he can be just as good as his teammates.

“We went into the season knowing we wanted to protect and destroy. Our brothers needed us to step up and that’s what we did.”

Not only did his natural strength and ability help him get accustomed to playing at the Class 5A varsity level at an early age, but it was the skills that he developed while throwing shot put and learning the ropes under Emery that helped him get ready for that high level of football.

“My farthest shot put is 48’1. Shot put helps me with my lower body explosion. Being able to explode off the ball is what keeps me in front of my opponent.”

“Emery (EJ) and I are like brothers. While he was at Catholic, he taught me a lot of the hand movements and footwork I use today.”

Catholic High School offensive lineman Ervin Smith has the physicality and footwork to become one of the state’s best linemen. (Photo courtesy of Ervin Smith)

Despite it being a great debut for Smith last season, he knows that he has the potential to dominate than just show that he can play.

“I would have to give myself a B-. I was new to the varsity field and still needed a lot of work, but I was willing to listen and grow with the line.”

For the 2023 season, instead of being the young and inexperienced piece that is looking for guidance from his teammates, Smith will be the guy that the offensive line will be looking up to.

“I would like to improve my leadership skills. I’ll be the only returning starter for the line, so as Coach Shelton (CHS O-Line Coach) is always telling me, my teammates are watching me. Now, it’s my job to lead the offensive line to where we want to be.”

He is also going to be doing it with a new head coach coming in Hudson Fuller. The now veteran lineman is excited for the opportunity to be playing for one of the state’s brightest young coaching stars.

“Coach Fuller is a great coach. He has come in with everything we needed. While we are rebuilding, he knows the Catholic way, and we are ready to see everything he brings to make our system better.”

The Catholic High Bears won a lot of games last season based on being physical and Ervin Smith (64) helped clear the way for 1,000 yard rusher Barry Remo II. (Photo courtesy of Ervin Smith)

This offseason, Smith is getting ready to showcase what he has in store for varsity season number two while getting the ball rolling in recruiting.

He is doing this by working with his offensive line trainer Coach Roddrell Stewart constantly and also coming to Eunice, Louisiana for Gridiron Football’s second Elite Camp of the year.

“I wanted to go out there and see what I could learn from other coaches, perfect my craft, and honestly to gain more exposure. Linemen aren’t always seen so I decided I want to go to these camps to have coaches see my abilities and work ethic.”

Ervin Smith was definitely noticed at the Gridiron Football Elite Camp as he ran a 5.38/40 at close to 280 pounds while running a 5.00 flat shuttle run and jumping over eight feet in the broad jump. Not only was his physical measurables impressive for his position, but he also showed out in the one on one competition part of the camp.

“I felt like I did really well. I do feel like everything I went to do, I accomplished, especially the exposure. Gridiron Football has definitely helped.”

Catholic High School 2025 offensive lineman Ervin Smith had a great performance at the Gridiron Football Elite Camp at St. Edmund High School in Eunice, Louisiana. (Photo taken by Jason Saucier)

Gridiron Football has also given Ervin Smith the opportunity to come to participate in the Gridiron Football Underclassmen All-American Event in Orange Beach, Alabama at the end of the 2023 season.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to showcase myself as a person and my abilities. I’m really excited to show everyone the reason why the coaches at the Elite Camp in Eunice believed in me.”

Not only are the high school coaches starting to believe in him, but the college coaches are also showing him some love this early in the recruiting process.

“It’s new and different, but I’m learning a lot. University of Lafayette, Millsaps, and a few other colleges have shown interest.”

Some of the schools that he wants to play for include LSU and Oregon, but for Ervin Smith, he just wants to prove even more that he could be the perfect fit for any program that takes a chance on him.

“I would like to tell them that, yes, I have the skills, the strength and the work ethic to be a great player. Most importantly, I have the mindset to always be coachable. I can adapt to their team and their team’s way of playing. It’s never me before the TEAM.”

Catholic High School offensive lineman Ervin Smith works on his explosiveness with Gridiron Football CEO Andy Bryson. (Photo taken by Jason Saucier)