A Long, Strange Trip For Newest Commit

New commitment Blair Irvin tells Inside the Auburn Tigers about how he went from LSU football signee to baseball player to Auburn commitment.

Coffeyville, Kan.--A miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning "something wonderful," is defined as a striking interposition of divine intervention by God in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of nature is overruled, suspended, or modified.

While it's not a miracle that former LSU signee Blair Irvin chose the Auburn Tigers this time around, his path to the Plains is nothing short of miraculous.

A football standout at Patterson, La., High School in the fall of 2001, Irvin was rated as the 44th-best cornerback prospect in the country by Scout.com and considered one of the country's top baseball prospects. It was baseball that got the first shot as he signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays out of high school and played for four seasons before deciding to give football another shot.

After playing junior college football last season for Coffeyville Community College, Irvin says that several schools immediately showed him a great deal of interest, but Auburn was just the right fit for him.

"Being in Kanssas I got a lot of different looks from schools than I did in high school," Irvin says. "Schools like Oklahoma and Nebraska and Utah have all looked at me. In the SEC it was LSU, Florida and several others. If I didn't communicate with them my junior college coach did. I could have gone pretty much anywhere, but everything felt right with Auburn."

Having signed with LSU and growing up a short distance from Tiger Stadium, Irvin says that it will be weird to line up on the field against the purple and gold version of the Tigers, but it's something he also relishes the thought of doing for Auburn.

"I'm glad I get to play against them," Irvin says. "It's my hometown and I know everything about LSU. I don't have anything against LSU. It's just that Auburn is a better fit for me. When I line up against them hopefully that will be my biggest game."

His history with LSU is actually one of the reasons he decided to sign with Auburn because of a history with defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Muschamp was a coach at LSU when Irvin came out of high school and the two got a chance to know each other through the recruiting process. When it came time for Irvin to begin looking at schools once again, he says the prior relationship with Muschamp was definitely something that worked in Auburn's favor.

"I met Coach Muschamp a while back in 2002 when he flew down to my high school in Louisiana when he was in high school," Irvin says. "I remember him from there and also from my visit and camps at LSU. I have been around LSU a lot in high school. We didn't have a close relationship, but I remember him. Since I have been back into it we've clicked."

The connection with Muschamp, while working in Auburn's favor, isn't the biggest factor in the cornerback deciding to play for Auburn. Hurricane Katrina, oen of the most devastating natural disasters in our country's history, rocked New Orleans and much of the Mississippi Delta and is still felt to this day by the residents and former residents of the area like Irvin.

Deciding to take his chances elsewhere instead of ride out the storm that fateful day, Irvin's dad, Blair Irvin Sr., took off and headed East out of Louisiana. By the time he stopped he was somewhere in Alabama. There the elder Irvin made a new home, one that would soon become a big reason why his son would play football at Auburn.

"My dad lives in Opelika," Irvin says of his father, who coaches at Opelika High. "That's why I was able to get on campus and hang out. My dad's dream was to see me play and by me going straight to baseball it forced me to be on the road. The fact that I can come and play where my dad lives, it's really exciting.

"It's just a coincidence that my dad just left the storm in New Orleans and pulled off the highway and wound up being in Opelika. It's just a coincidence how everything happened. With Muschamp coming from LSU and to wind up being at Auburn at the same time I'm coming from baseball and to have my dad in Opelika, it's just too good to be true right now."

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