Stone Mountain, Ga.--After committing very early to the Michigan Wolverines before backing off that decision, big Jalil Irvin wanted to make sure his commitment was the right one when he did it again. On Wednesday the time was right for the 6-3, 295-pounder when he committed to the Auburn Tigers following another impressive visit to the Plains last weekend.
With Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech just some of the schools on his list, Irvin said there's just something about Auburn that spoke to him and felt like home.
"It was just that connection," Irvin tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "There's just something special about Auburn. Coach (Herb) Hand and Coach (Gus) Malzahn are special people. I wanted to be a part of that. I felt really at home there.
"It was really important," he said of the fit. "I just wanted to make sure I could feel at home with them. I just needed to make sure it was more than football. I'm happy. I'm happy."
A big part of Irvin's reason for picking Auburn is his bond with OL Coach Herb Hand. A veteran coach that is entering his second season with the Tigers, Hand's coaching is just one of the things that stands out to the physical offensive line prospect.
"The way he is," Irvin said of what stands out to him about Hand. "He loves to cook. He told us a story today about how he loves to cook and bring everybody over to his house to meet his kids, meet the family. His daughter goes here too so it's like a real family vibe. It's more than football for him. It was just a great thing."
The two spent much of last Saturday together when Irvin visited along with his mother. That was something that only solidified things in his mind, the upcoming senior said.
"Coach Hand was with me the entire day," Irvin said. "I feel like our relationship got even closer with him hanging out with my mom the whole time. We were just talking, not just about football, but life in general. I had fun with it. He was real cool."
Now Irvin moves from recruit to recruiter for the Tigers. A player that is good friends with a lot of the top prospects in the South already, he said it's time to get them to Auburn.
"I'm recruiter Irvin," he said. "They might as well start calling me that."
What It Means:
Getting the first offensive line commitment of the class is a big deal when Auburn is expected to add four or five players up front in 2018. What makes Irvin a big deal for the Tigers is his versatility. Capable of playing any of the five positions on the offensive line, Irvin is expected to get his start as a guard for the Tigers but his feet and athleticism could potentially allow him to slide out to tackle if needed.
With Braden Smith, Darius James and Austin Golson all seniors in 2017, Auburn is going to need to replenish the talent level on the offensive line this year. Getting Irvin is a great start to that process for the Tigers.