Bruce Irvin left West Virginia University in 2012. Six years later, he’s back. And he’s getting his degree.
Irvin explained to Tony Caridi, play-by-play announcer extraordinaire for West Virginia football and men’s basketball, the reasons for finishing what he started.
“Coming here, every athlete wants to go the NFL, that’s their dream,” Irvin said. “If they tell you it’s not, they’re probably lying to you. I was one of the few that was fortunate enough to be able to accomplish my dream and being drafted in the NFL in the first round. And don’t get me wrong, I do really well on my money, so I didn’t have to get my degree.
“It was just something that I looked at like, it’s bigger than me. It’s for my son, it’s for my mom. This is for everybody who really did and didn’t believe in me. I look at it as I proved them . . .
Irvin stopped before saying that he proved them wrong, and quickly he flipped it around.
“I proved myself right.”
Irvin’s journey included getting a GED, going to junior college, and landing at West Virginia University. And he decided to cap that journey by participating in the commencement ceremony this weekend.
“I was kind of hesitant,” Irvin said. “My Raider people, they kind of convinced me. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Being where I came from . . . I didn’t think walking across a college stage would ever happen. I just looked at the situation like I definitely deserve to walk, and [get] another chance to come back home. I consider this place home. You know the love I have for this state.”
Irvin spent his first four years with the Seahawks, winning Super Bowl XLVIII and participating in Super Bowl XLIX. He joined the Raiders in 2015, becoming the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner in 2017.
In West Virginia, he’ll always be remembered as one thing and one thing only: A Mountaineer.