Before the start of the 2012 NFL Draft, some so-called experts and even fans were complaining of the eminent lack of surprises. Were they wrong! Yes, we all knew who was going to be selected number 1 – the Indianapolis Colts were classy enough to give Andrew Luck a jersey with his real number on it – and number 2 – RG III made this NFL lover and fashion connoisseur proud and, is thus, given the best-dressed award of the evening. However, not many were prepared for the multiple trades that followed.
And no one was ready for the Seattle Seahawks’ selection. Perhaps thinking like the Mariners, they pulled a pick that came straight out of left field – Bruce Irvin. Who?! The Defensive End from West Virginia was not supposed to be selected until, some say, the 3rd round, but Pete Carroll has been known for thinking outside the proverbial box. Let the conspiracy theories begin.
Pete Carroll has had his eye on Irvin for a while. In fact, the former USC coach tried to recruit the, then, troubled young man out of junior college, but his baggage was deemed a little too heavy a load. Irvin, at that time had been on the road to potentially wasting his talent. The high school dropout had spent some time living on the streets and leading a life that would probably lead most people to jail instead of professional football.
On the road to reclaiming his athletic career, Bruce Irvin received his GED, enrolled in Mount San Antonio College, where he resumed playing football, and led him to the West Virginia Mountaineers. It sounded like the ultimate feel-good story until a recent arrest as recent as March 2012. Irvin was charged with destruction of property and disorderly conduct stemming from an incident in Morgantown, W. Va. Just an isolated incident of bad judgment, or a return to his previous life choices? It is said that old habits die hard…
If anyone is up to the task of reforming young men, it is Pete Carroll. During his days at USC, he was known for his involvement in the community and his willingness to take chances on people who were given very few opportunities in life. Carroll would often visit some of the least desired neighborhoods of South Central LA in order to relate, empathize and often recruit the local talent. By selecting Bruce Irvin with the 15th pick of the 1st round, Pete Carroll maintains his reputation of being a man who is willing to give talented players a second chance.
The Seattle Seahawks have chosen the riskiest road possible, but Carroll and General Manager John Schneider have been known for taking risks. Only time will tell if this gamble will pay off. On an interesting side note, the last player selected in the 1st round out of West Virginia was Adam “Pac Man” Jones. Seahawks fans hope that is not an omen of things to come.