Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 11 the number once worn by WVU defensive end, Bruce Irvin.
Originally from Atlanta, GA, Irvin was a two-year member of the WVU football program, from 2010 to 2011. During his Mountaineer career, Irvin made 26 appearances (six starts) for the team. In those games, Irvin recorded 60 tackles, 23 sacks, and five forced fumbles for West Virginia.
Irvin is currently fourth on the school’s all-time sack list, and owns the school’s record for most sacks in a season by a junior Mountaineer football player. Bruce Irvin was a two-time, all-Big East selection, and earned an honorable mention, All-American selection by Sports Illustrated in 2010. He played in two bowl games during his time at the school, which included the team’s impressive 70-33 victory over Clemson in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl.
The 6’3”, 235 pound defensive standout first transferred into the program in 2010 after two successful seasons on the junior college level. Following a successful training camp, Irvin earned playing time in all 13 of the Mountaineer’s games during the season, where he recorded 21 tackles, 14 sacks, and two forced fumble.
Irvin finished that season second in the nation on the FBS level in sacks, and helped the Mountaineers earn a share of the Big East Championship following the 2010 regular season. Due to a tie-breaker held by UConn, West Virginia had to settle for a bid to the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl where they were thoroughly defeated by Irvin’s future NFL teammate, Russell Wilson, and the NC State Wolf Pack 23-7. However, Bruce Irvin earned honorable mention, all-conference honors from the Big East, as well as honorable mention, All-American honors from SI.com in recognition of his individual efforts during his first season with the team.
During his second and final season in Morgantown, Irvin had another productive season on the defensive side of the football. That year, Irvin registered 40 tackles, nine sacks, and three forced fumbles. Irvin’s most memorable game of the 2011 season was in the most recent edition of the “Backyard Brawl.” In that game, Irvin registered a single-game career-high seven tackles, along with two sacks, and a timely forced fumble in the dying seconds to help Mountaineers’ complete come-back victory of their bitter rivals, the Pitt Panthers.
As West Virginia earned a second straight, shared Big East title, the Mountaineers owned the tie-breaker, this time around, to assure them a spot in a BCS bowl game. The Mountaineers selected to play in 2012 Discover Orange Bowl against the ACC Champion Clemson Tigers.
Clemson came in as the heavy favorite as referenced by several, online prediction surveys, and media “expert” picks before the game. However, the game quickly went in favor of the underdog Mountaineers mid-way through the second quarter of the highly anticipated showdown. It began with a 99 yard fumble return for a touchdown by Darwin Cook, and then the offense came alive with 35 unanswered points. Before anyone knew it, the Mountaineers held a hefty 43 point advantage in their favor.
Between the two teams, nine different FBS bowl records were broken in the game including team touchdowns, combined points in a half, total points, and points in a quarter. With the victory, West Virginia finished the year 10-3 overall, the first time the school had reached a double-digit win total since 2007. Irvin earned first-team, All-Big East honors, along with a fourth-team, All-American selection by Phil Steele following the season.
Bruce Irvin graduated West Virginia University in the spring of 2013. Following his graduation from the school, Irvin went on to pursue a career in professional football. He was selected 15th overall in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Currently, Irvin is entering his third season with the Seahawks. In his first two seasons on the pro level, Irvin has accumulated 56 career tackles, along with ten sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception in 28 career games (12 starts). Following his rookie season, Irvin was named to the Pro Football Writers’ All-Rookie team. He was also a starter on last season’s Super Bowl XLVIII Championship team as split time between “Sam” linebacker, and defensive end.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-12 are still available here at WVUPros.com