As Notre Dame continues to scour the country for a Class of 2021 running back, Buford (Ga.) High School standout Gabe Ervin is another name to know.
Buford High School football is synonymous with Georgia high school football. In fact, it’s one of the nation’s top overall prep programs during the past twenty years. Since the 2000 season, Buford is 221-14 with 11 state championships.
That’s not a misprint.
The Gwinnett County juggernaut is located in the northern section of the talent-rich area, and it’s a program Irish fans might remember running back Darius Walker coming from. Walker played three seasons (2004-2006) for the Irish before heading to the NFL as Notre Dame’s fourth all-time leading rusher.
Now, there’s another Buford Wolves running back to know.
It’s the same down-hill, we’re coming right at you, power football offense for Buford, and Ervin totes the football like a between-the-tackles running back should.
Ervin’s quick feet, combined with his strength, make him a high-upside prospect. Here’s a look at Ervin’s junior film.
Three traits stood out above the others. First, Ervin hits the hole right now! He’s quick enough, despite being a long-legged player, to get up to speed by his third step. That allows Ervin to accelerate into the second level quite easily. From there, few high school defensive backs are a match for him one-on-one.
Whether Ervin powers through arm tackles or jukes a defensive back with a one-cut-go move, he’s usually going to win the battle. That’s where his second attribute comes into play.
Few running backs will run harder than Ervin. That means a lot to a team, because he sets the tone. Power and effort do make up a big part of football, regardless of position. Ervin possesses both qualities.
He gains the tough yards after contact. Offensive linemen love blocking for running backs like Ervin. He gives it his all, and he will do so game-in and game-out.
Another unique aspect of Ervin’s game to like would be his ability to make cuts in the backfield, prior to hitting the line of scrimmage. Sometimes the hole does not line up with wear the play would be originally designed to go. Ervin adjusted well during his junior campaign, and that natural skill will serve him well during the entirety of his football career. He should not be considered a finished prospect, however.
Ervin lacks top-notch second level speed. He provides good speed, but can be run down by defensive backs. Beyond that, there’s much to like about Ervin’s game. With a focus towards improving explosive movements (see below), as well as his sheer speed, Ervin does provide a high ceiling for the college program that lands him. Here’s a look at Ervin working out.
As Notre Dame continues to evaluate its running back board, Ervin is a player to watch. Right now, Notre Dame has not contacted Ervin, but that is something the staff needs to rectify.
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