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WVU DE Bruce Irvin built for speed at 235 pounds
His older brother, Chad, consoled him about the financial situation, saying to hold his head up and that everything happens for a reason.
“It was a struggle but it was worth it at the end,” Irvin said. “God blessed me. I’m happy to be in the situation I’m in now.”
While he was still in Georgia, Irvin had met West Virginia wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, who had been recruiting a friend of Irvin‘s. Galloway kept in contact after Irvin went to California, and Irvin ended up with the Mountaineers.
“It was just a perfect fit for me,” Irvin said. “There were a lot of different defensive schemes and not just one basic defense.”
The 6-foot-3 Irvin has always heard questions about his weight and pays little attention.
Once he got to Morgantown, Irvin didn’t want to pack on the weight. He likes where he’s at and said even gaining 5 or 10 pounds would take away from the speed advantage he feels he has against offensive linemen.
“Honestly it isn’t about the size,” he said. “Football is a game of leverage and whoever’s under whoever’s pads will win. I heard I cannot play the run. I know I can play the run. I can play low and as long as I stay low I think I can hold my own.”
West Virginia entered the Maryland game as one of a few Bowl Subdivision teams without a sack and the Mountaineers were both frustrated and motivated to do something about it. In the first two games, quarterbacks for Coastal Carolina and Marshall took three-step drops and relied on screen passes.
“There’s not much you can do when there’s a lot of quick throws,” he said.
Irvin’s first sack came just before halftime. He pushed aside Maryland left tackle Justin Gilbert and hit backup quarterback Danny O’Brien so hard that O’Brien started walking toward the sideline with the clock running down and Maryland couldn’t get off another play.
That seemed to open up the floodgates for Irvin’s teammates. Scooter Berry got a career-high two sacks in the game.
“It feels like they’re were just coming left and right,” Irvin said. “It was crazy. We were happy about it but it’s in the past now. Hopefully we can do it again this week. If we stop the run, they’ll have no choice but to pass.”
Barksdale said LSU’s linemen have had experience dealing with similar tall, quick end pass rushers like Irvin in practice against Tigers starter Sam Montgomery (6-4, 245) and reserve Barkevious Mingo (6-5, 237).
LSU has shown some vulnerability in protecting Jordan Jefferson, who was sacked 34 times last year and has been corralled three times this season.
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
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