Blog Entry

West Virginia's Irvin not hiding from past

Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:50 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 12:58 pm
 

Besides the on-field and agility drills, one of the most important aspects for prospects is the interview process, especially for players with questionable backgrounds. West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin, NFLDraftScout.com’s No. 13 rated Outside Linebacker, is one of those prospects in Indianapolis this week, trying to prove to NFL teams that his struggles are in the past.

“I have a different story than a lot of these guys,” Irvin said. “I grew up in a rough neighborhood in Atlanta, dropped out of high school in 11<sup>th</sup> grade and got in some trouble. I ran with the wrong crowd. I finally saw the light and got my GED, took the test and passed all five parts on the first time. That January I went to school and never looked back.”

Although Irvin refuted rumors that he was ever in a gang, he did acknowledge he spent “about three weeks” in jail for two charges. NFL scouts and decision-makers appreciate Irvin’s willingness to be upfront with his past troubles and he understands it's just part of the process.

“They’ve heard the stories, read the articles,” said Irvin, referring to NFL teams. “They’re questioning me, which I don’t blame. They kind of want to hear it from the horses mouth, the whole situation on how it happened.”

Off-field concerns aren’t the only questions NFL teams have on the West Virginia pass rusher. Irvin, who had a playing weight of "about 225-230" last year, played with his hand on the ground as a defensive end in the Mountaineers’ three-man front, a position usually filled by 270-plus pound players. After producing 14 sacks as a junior, Irvin began the 2011 season as a starter, but that quickly changed.

"I started my senior year, maybe four to five games and it just wasn’t working out,” said Irvin. “I noticed coming off my junior year, less was more for me. Playing 6, 7, 8 snaps and me getting two sacks or more was really productive for me. And not getting injured and coming out of the game with a bunch of bruises. I think I benefited from playing less.”

Irvin is projected to be a situational pass rusher in the NFL, most likely as a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme. It will be a learning curve for him because he “never” stood up in college, but has been working on that aspect of his game the past few weeks in Orlando.

- Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com 

Category: NFL Draft
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