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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: E’Monte Smith, DE, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

E'Monte Smith the star pass rusher from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
E’Monte Smith the star pass rusher from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: E’Monte Smith
  • Position: DE
  • College: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 225 lbs
  • Twitter: @MrSmithIsKing
  • Instagram: @3monte_

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

I’ve had some challenges in both areas of life of course and the main thing is getting right with God. I pray for guidance, and direction. I slow down and look at the bigger picture of things. I pray to God and talk to my loved ones and dearest friends about how to maneuver in order to come out in the best way that I can. I also focus on focusing.

What sets you apart from other defensive linemen?

My athleticism for sure. Having played OLB primarily in high school and some MLB later in my senior year of high school. Playing at UMHB I was our go to defensive lineman when it came to passing downs. I can rush a passer, play in coverage, and can set the edge. My speed and strength as well. I was a multi sport athlete in high school having ran track, played basketball, and wrestled. I’m one of the more athletic type of pass rushers/OLB which is the way the game is leaning today. I can generate power and rush or run around a tackle or whoever I’m stunting too. I have options with my abilities.

What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

The grit of the game. I’ve overcome a lot over the last 5 years and it’s mainly with God and football at the center. I inspire my community back home by playing football. I inspire some family even just by being relentless chasing after dreams. I’ve been wanting to play ever since I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. I played little league then and have been playing ever since. I want to continue to be a baller and shock the world should God allow it on a bigger stage.

What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

I bring tenacity. It’s an overwhelming will to do whatever I can to exert myself and make a play for the team. I’m a proud defender and on the goal line just like any other dog of the game I get excited and look to make a statement with the defense. There’s some pride to me and I always believe in my teammates as well and push them to be better people and players if I can. I’m a leader who leads by example as well.

What are you looking to achieve as a football player going forward?

I want to not only play in the NFL but I want to be an impactful player in the game at the highest level. I have a chip on my shoulder and it will be there for as long as I play the game. I see that chip as energy to drive me to keep chasing greatness which is beneficial to the team I am on. The better of a player I am the better I can be for my team. I want to be great.

What should we know about E’Monte Smith the person?

I’m a kind hearted person, a big softy off the field really always looking to put a smile on my loved ones faces. I do my best when I put myself in position of a student. I’m a student of the game just like I am a student of life. I come off as quiet at first but eventually I’m someone who’s a bit more on the wild side always having a good time. I’m a leader who leads by example. I am a go getter as well. I like to spend my time with my family. Also extremely hard working.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

Micah Parsons hands down. Dude has emerged as one of my favorite players and linebackers. He is a day older than me and I was even told by a former NFL player that he is a comparison to the type of player I am. I feel like he would be pretty cool and have a lot of knowledge I could soak up as well.

What do you love about the game of football?

I love that it’s basically fathered me and provided me a sense of family, outside of family over the years that I’ve played. I love the hard work and that I can reap the rewards of my hard work and dedication. I love that it’s a group of guys working together to get to a common goal. The life lessons taught in the game as well. Anyone could take them and use them in everyday life situations.

What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?

I think the keys are to stay focused and driven. My most successful years of the game were my hungriest years. When a lion is hungry it eats or starves. I’d say I’m a shark in the water when it comes to getting things done. There’s no going backwards just onward. Staying hungry to me is the key.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team would get a guy who is ready to come in and work his tail off to get the starting job and from there work his tail off to be a leader on the team. I’m a guy who is more than willing to put in the work it takes. More so eager to learn and play for the big ring. A guy looking to make an impact as soon as possible not in just the way I play the game but also in the way I lead.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

Winning 2 National Championships at UMHB and helping in the recent comeback victory over our “rival” HSU. Another is of course the last playoff run we had at CHS in 17. The win over Magnolia high school.

How are you planning to prepare for the draft?

I am planning to workout and get with our strength coach this semester. Lifting, running and stretching and of course getting the right nutrition. I have a few trainers in the Austin area as well that I will be working with.

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