Bruce Irvin Represents WVU in Super Bowl - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Bruce Irvin Represents WVU in Super Bowl

Posted:
MORGANTOWN -

Seven years ago, Bruce Irvin never would have pictured the scene.

Dreamed it, maybe, but as a high school dropout following a path of crime and self-destruction, a focal point of media day on the week of the Super Bowl wouldn't have seemed like a real possibility.

Yet there Irvin stood, signing autographs for Seattle Seahawks fans and fielding questions about how he and his teammates would slow one of the most prolific offenses in the history of the National Football League.

Seven years ago, Irvin watched as the friends he lived with at the time were arrested when the police raided the house for drugs.

Today, he is just days away from playing in the biggest game of his life.

"My intention was to get out and change the things I was doing, and seven years later I'm here," Irvin said from the site of Super Bowl XLVIII. "Words can't explain how happy I am. I reflect every day. I come from a tough road. Obviously, God had a plan for me. I can't tell you all the things I was doing, but God guided me and he blessed me and I'm here today."

The events that transpired from the time when Irvin decided to take control of his own path and redirect it down country roads to Morgantown are what allowed him to escape and to create a different narrative for his life.

Through the help of West Virginia wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, Irvin found his way into a Mountaineer uniform after developing into one of the nation's most desirable junior college prospects during his time at Mt. San Antonio College. In just two seasons with WVU, he made his mark.

Irvin wreaked havoc on Big East quarterbacks, putting up 14 sacks in his first season and following that showing with nine more as a senior. All the while, he became a fan favorite as a player who always spoke his mind and never held back in expressing his affinity for the Mountain State.

"I consider West Virginia my home," Irvin said this week. "It's one of the best decisions I ever made by going to that university. When I decided to go there, I just kind of wanted to go somewhere where they needed me as much as I needed them. I felt like that was the case with West Virginia."

The Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll decided they needed Irvin, too, making him the No. 15 overall selection of the 2012 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he led all first-year players with eight sacks. In year two, he served a four-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing substances policy, in which time he returned to Morgantown to work out at his alma mater.

Once back with Seattle, he reeled in his first career interception and recorded 31 tackles. His two sacks were down from his rookie campaign, but he did it while growing accustomed to a new position as an outside linebacker on the league's best defense.

"It fits me well," Irvin said of his role. "It's my first year playing. Hopefully I can keep getting better each and every year. Hopefully a Pro Bowler."

First up: a Super Bowler. One with the opportunity to line up across from Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, whose record-breaking 2013 campaign has set up for quite a challenge on Sunday.

"Getting to Peyton and getting him off the spot is a huge way we can stop their offense," said Irvin. "I don't think you can stop him, but you can slow him down. He don't like getting hit. That's our biggest thing."

Irvin is presented with an opportunity that any child who picks up a football imagines. The Super Bowl will have the attention of millions of sports fans around the country and around the world and No. 51 will be out there doing his part to ensure a Seahawks victory.

"We've got to cherish this moment," he said. "There are dudes in the Hall of Fame who have never been here before and I'm here in my second year. We've got to work hard and capitalize on this opportunity."

Seattle will have plenty of fans in West Virginia as Mountaineer Nation roots on one of its own. WVU men's basketball coach Bob Huggins counts himself among those hoping Irvin can come out on the winning end and return to his alma mater to be honored for his accomplishments at halftime of a Mountaineers game.

"I'm 100 percent behind Bruce," said Huggins. "I'd like nothing more than to have Bruce come back into Morgantown toting a big Super Bowl ring."

Irvin knows that kind of support has come his way since the moment he set foot on campus at WVU.

"I love the state. I love the school," said Irvin. "I'm just happy to represent a great university and a state such as West Virginia."

On Sunday, Irvin plays on the biggest stage. Seven years later, dreams can become reality.  

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Buchanan Nominated for ESPY Award

    Buchanan Nominated for ESPY Award

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 6:33 PM EDT2017-06-21 22:33:24 GMT
    WVU defender Kadeisha Buchanan waves to the fans following an NCAA Tournament win in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU defender Kadeisha Buchanan waves to the fans following an NCAA Tournament win in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    For the first time in program history, the West Virginia University women’s soccer team will be represented at The ESPYs.

    For the first time in program history, the West Virginia University women’s soccer team will be represented at The ESPYs.

  • Cramer Drafted by Nationals

    Cramer Drafted by Nationals

    Wednesday, June 14 2017 6:32 PM EDT2017-06-14 22:32:42 GMT
    WVU senior Jackson Cramer hugs his head coach, Randy Mazey, after playing the final game of his collegiate career at the NCAA Regional. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU senior Jackson Cramer hugs his head coach, Randy Mazey, after playing the final game of his collegiate career at the NCAA Regional. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    With the No. 1063 overall pick in the 35th round of the MLB Draft, Jackson Cramer was selected by the Washington Nationals.

    In the 35th round of the MLB Draft Jackson Cramer was selected with the No. 1063 overall pick by the Washington Nationals.

  • Davis Selected in MLB Draft

    Davis Selected in MLB Draft

    Wednesday, June 14 2017 5:09 PM EDT2017-06-14 21:09:42 GMT
    Kyle Davis waits for his turn to enter the batter's box during an 8-5 win over Maryland. (PHOTO Geoff Coyle)Kyle Davis waits for his turn to enter the batter's box during an 8-5 win over Maryland. (PHOTO Geoff Coyle)

    Outfielder Kyle Davis was selected with the No. 451 overall pick in the 15th round of the year's MLB Draft by the Houston Astros.

    Outfielder Kyle Davis was selected with the No. 451 overall pick in the 15th round of the year's MLB Draft by the Houston Astros.

  • FootballFootballMore>>

  • WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

  • Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

  • Jozwiak, Mountaineers Continue Tradition Helping Local Kids

    Jozwiak, Mountaineers Continue Tradition Helping Local Kids

    Brian Jozwiak delivers a message to those in attendance at the 27th Annual Brian Jozwiak Golf Outing at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Brian Jozwiak delivers a message to those in attendance at the 27th Annual Brian Jozwiak Golf Outing at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Annual golf outing raises money for WVU Medicine Children's and Buddy Walk, continuing Don Nehlen's charge to give back to the community decades ago. 

    Annual golf outing raises money for WVU Medicine Children's and Buddy Walk, continuing Don Nehlen's charge to give back to the community decades ago. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

  • Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

  • Buchanan Nominated for ESPY Award

    Buchanan Nominated for ESPY Award

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 6:33 PM EDT2017-06-21 22:33:24 GMT
    WVU defender Kadeisha Buchanan waves to the fans following an NCAA Tournament win in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU defender Kadeisha Buchanan waves to the fans following an NCAA Tournament win in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    For the first time in program history, the West Virginia University women’s soccer team will be represented at The ESPYs.

    For the first time in program history, the West Virginia University women’s soccer team will be represented at The ESPYs.

  • Kevin Jones Fights for NBA Dream

    Kevin Jones Fights for NBA Dream

    Former WVU standout Kevin Jones is working toward a return to the NBA after four seasons overseas.Former WVU standout Kevin Jones is working toward a return to the NBA after four seasons overseas.

    Former WVU standout is working toward a return to the NBA after spending the past four seasons playing professionally overseas.

    Former WVU standout is working toward a return to the NBA after spending the past four seasons playing professionally overseas.

  • Constellis Announces Acquisition of AMK9

    Constellis Announces Acquisition of AMK9

    Transaction Expands Constellis’ Capability to Train and Deploy K-9 Teams Globally, Enhances Ability to Provide Competitive Pricing to its Key Customers Reston, Va., June 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
    Transaction Expands Constellis’ Capability to Train and Deploy K-9 Teams Globally, Enhances Ability to Provide Competitive Pricing to its Key Customers
  • SEIDERSTRONG: Jaden's Fight with Cancer

    SEIDERSTRONG: Jaden's Fight with Cancer

    Jaden Seider stands with his family after treatment at Ruby Memorial Hospital.Jaden Seider stands with his family after treatment at Ruby Memorial Hospital.
    Jaden Seider, son of WVU football assistant Ja-Juan Seider, is fighting cancer at just 14 years old. His Mountaineer family is behind him as he shows strength and maturing beyond his years. 
    Jaden Seider, son of WVU football assistant Ja-Juan Seider, is fighting cancer at just 14 years old. His Mountaineer family is behind him as he shows strength and maturing beyond his years. 
  • Former Miami QB Joins Mountaineers

    Former Miami QB Joins Mountaineers

    Wednesday, June 14 2017 5:09 PM EDT2017-06-14 21:09:11 GMT
    Former Miami quarterback Jack Allison tweeted this picture on Tuesday to officially announce he will be joining the Mountaineers. (Twitter: Jack Allison)Former Miami quarterback Jack Allison tweeted this picture on Tuesday to officially announce he will be joining the Mountaineers. (Twitter: Jack Allison)

    Former Miami quarterback Jack Allison announced via Twitter that has committed to West Virginia University.

    Former Miami quarterback Jack Allison announced via Twitter that has committed to West Virginia University.

  • I77 reopens after tractor trailer crash on I-77 SB in Jackson County, WV

    Tractor trailer crash shuts down I-77 in Jackson County, WV

    Friday, June 23 2017 1:59 AM EDT2017-06-23 05:59:01 GMT

    Stay with 13 News for the latest.

    Stay with 13 News for the latest.