Former WVU Star Bruce Irvin Set To Start For Seahawks - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Former WVU Star Bruce Irvin Set To Start For Seahawks

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MORGANTOWN -

One year ago Bruce Irvin just finished helping the West Virginia University football team close out its season with a 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Now he is about to log his first NFL start when the Seattle Seahawks visit the Atlanta Falcons in a divisional playoff game.

"It's another game," Irvin said by phone earlier this week. "It just so happens to be that I am starting this week. I am practicing hard and hoping it translates into success on Sunday."

Irvin set a Seahawks franchise record for sacks by a rookie with eight of them this season. He was elevated into the starting lineup when Chris Clemons went down with a torn ACL in last week's wild card playoff game against the Washington Redskins.

"It is a shame that he went down last week, but it is what it is and the next man up is the mentality we have here," Irvin stated. "He helped prepare me for this opportunity and I am going to be ready to go Sunday."

Irvin played two seasons for the Mountaineers and left his mark on the program. He registered 23 sacks and 30 tackles for a loss in his WVU career. The Seahawks drew a little criticism when they selected Irvin with the No. 15 overall pick in the NFL draft. Irvin has done nothing but validate that selection.

"It's been a great ride," Irvin said. "I've been put in a great situation. I think I am in the perfect place to succeed. I'm just trying to get better every day. Obviously I was not expecting to start this year, but it is part of the game and you never know when your time is. I'm just blessed to be in this situation and I am going to take advantage of it."

Irvin's road to the NFL was easily the path less taken. He grew up in Atlanta, eventually played junior college football in California while sharing a house with 12 people. Then he came to West Virginia and the rest is history. Irvin downplays the fact that his first start will come in the same city he first called home.

"It's another game," Irvin stated. "I barely go back to Atlanta. I come to West Virginia more than I go there. It's just another game. It just so happens to be in the place where I was born. "

Irvin spent two years in Morgantown. While he left an impression on the WVU football program, the state of West Virginia clearly left quite an impression on him. Irvin recently donated $100,000 to WVU for its weight room renovation.

All starters introduce themselves and tape their own player introductions. Prior to a Seahawks Sunday night game earlier this season, Irvin took to twitter to solicit ideas from WVU fans. His introduction did not run because he did not start that night. He will start Sunday and says he has a special introduction ready.

"I chose one that I would rather not say," Irvin chuckled. "Mountaineer fans will be pretty happy when I say it. They will see on Sunday. Mountaineer fans will be happy and I look forward to representing the state of West Virginia on Sunday."

A Seahawks win will land the team in the NFC Championship game and within one win of playing in the Super Bowl.

"This last year has been great," Irvin said. "I reached my dreams on a winning team in a great organization and it is not over with. We're not quite where we want to be and I think we have a great chance of being in New Orleans in a couple of weeks."

Irvin and the Seattle Seahawks visit the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on Sunday afternoon.

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