D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - One of the Coast's top 2019 prospects won't be going far for his collegiate career. D'Iberville offensive lineman Louis Paul Smith announced on Twitter Sunday he's committing to Southern Miss.
Smith said he made the decision after attending USM's Junior Day earlier this month.
"While I was there, the coaches really treated me like I was family," Smith told WLOX. "That was probably the reason why I committed to them was the family aspect. (Head coach Jay) Hopson and (offensive line coach Erik) Losey, they were very interested in me and they made me feel at home while I was there, and that was a huge factor."
The 6-foot-3, 294-pound rising senior returned to Hattiesburg Saturday to visit the Golden Eagles practice, where he delivered Hopson the news personally.
"He was ecstatic," Smith said. "He said 'welcome to the family,' (and) that was just perfect for me. That's exactly how I felt. He was just super excited and so was I."
The three-star recruit also holds offers from South Alabama, Arkansas State and ULM among others, but wanted to make his decision now to take advantage of the Early Signing Period this December.
Smith said he isn't completely shutting down his recruitment, but will be keeping contact with other schools to a minimum, aside from attending a few camps. He said his commitment with Southern Miss is a strong one, and it would take a lot for him to change his mind.
"It's gonna have to take something huge," Smith said. "Maybe a coaching change or something like that. But right now, I'm just (focused on) Southern Miss football."