In April 2012, following two years at West Virginia, Bruce Irvin accomplished a goal that few could reach. Irvin was drafted 15th overall in the NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, taking an even further step from where he once was.
When the lights shine down on New Jersey’s Metlife Stadium Sunday evening, the site of Super Bowl 48, Irvin will write a chapter in the unlikeliest of stories.
The Stone Mountain, Ga., native and former Mountaineer has had parts of his story told over and over again.
Growing up and corrupted by the streets of Atlanta, Irvin dropped out of high school. He lived a life that seemingly had no future in football. He dealt drugs, carried guns and spent time in jail. He wasn’t the five-star recruit who spent countless hours working to become a college athlete or NFL pro.
“When I was younger, making those foolish mistakes, I never thought I’d be about to go to the NFL,” Irvin said a few days before getting drafted.
After getting his life together, earning his GED, going to junior college and becoming a standout pass rusher at WVU in his second year of playing in the NFL, Irvin is set to reach the pinnacle of any NFL career by playing in the Super Bowl.
Taking into account Irvin’s origins makes this story unfathomable. And his story won’t be talked about on television because bigger storylines like the weather, the legacy of Peyton Manning or Richard Sherman playing the villain role have
more prominence. That’s what needs to be discussed.
But for Irvin, this is the climax of his story.
Getting out of Atlanta provided the problem, while recording 22.5 sacks and earning an Orange Bowl Championship at West Virginia added to part of the solution, which started when Irvin decided to get his GED.
Being drafted in the 1st round was great, and getting to the quarterback 10 times in his first two seasons as a pro is terrific, but what he and the Seahawks do Sunday night is as important as all the steps leading up to this for Irvin.
Of course the outcome won’t change him as a person because he changed life in the past six years for the better. No one can take that away from him, but becoming a champion will certainly give him confirmation as to why he did so much to change his life.
The latest chapter in Irvin’s life will be written at 6:25 p.m. Sunday when Seattle and Denver kickoff Super Bowl 48.