It didn’t take long for the Jacksonville faithful to realize what a special talent Tim Irvin is. Ready for his senior season, Irvin wasted little time as a play maker taking two first quarter punts back for touchdowns against Jacksonville’s Harvest Community School in a game that ended in 55-0 rout.
“We just came out here and did what we had to do,” Irvin said shortly after the game. “Coach just told us it should be an easy game we just have to come and do what he tells us to do. I just came out here to better myself and help better my team.”
The humble Irvin wasn’t taking all the credit for the punt returns.“It feels pretty good that I know I have other guys that can block for me,” he said. “I want to thank God for the opportunity to play football.”
A terrific play maker that starts on offense, defense, and in the return game, Irvin is a big part of a team that he believes is primed for a state title in 2014.
“I feel like we can go all the way,” he said. “Last year we fell short after we lost seven-zero in the last quarter. I feel like we will win it all this year. We have a bond that I feel like no other team has. We came out every day in the summer and in practice every week we do what the coaches tell us to do.”
Irvin can write his ticket to any school. His exceptional physical talents could have him playing receiver, running back, corner, or safety at the next level. With that in mind and all the schools after him, he says he is still open to everything.
“I am still open to every school,” he said. “No top schools.”
One program that is trying to make a move with Irvin is the Florida Gators. Florida has been able to put a primo defensive unit on the field for as long as most can remember. That combined with facilities and the education you can get are strong points that Irvin sees in Gainesville.
“The Gators have a good program,” Irvin said. “When I go up there I have a great bond with Coach Muschamp and T-Rob. It feels like a home atmosphere. I love the facilities and every time they take me up there they tell me about the education and what I can do if football doesn’t work out for me. It is a great program and they are rebuilding.”
One of the premiere players Florida has fielded in the last several years is South Florida’s Matt Elam. The former Palm Beach Garden’s Dwyer star played strong safety for the gators and was a 2013 first round draft pick after starring on defense.
Elam was also a super high school athlete that played both ways as a safety and a running back in high school. He too could choose any school to go to and inevitably picked Florida. In three years, Muschamp and T-Rob helped mold Elam into a first round draft pick in the NFL. They see the same type f player in Irvin.
“They see me as a strong safety because I am a Matt Elam type, because I am physical and aggressive and they like my instincts,” Irvin said of what the Florida coaches are telling him. “Most schools are recruiting me on offense, but wherever I can go to play as a freshman I will do what I have to do.”
He talks about what is most important in making a college decision.
“Education is most important,” Irvin said. “If I get hurt what can I do? How can I adapt to the environment, can I leave Miami or stay in Miami. Then I want to be able to compete for a starting position.”
He says he will visit the Gators a couple of time in the Fall. A couple of other in-state schools will also get visits.
“I will take a trip up for the Kentucky game and then official for LSU or Missouri game,” he said of visiting Gainesville. “I will probably see a Miami home game when they play Cincinnati and then Florida State when they play Notre Dame.”
It will be fun watching Irvin on and off the field in 2014, and Scout will be there to cover it for you. Stay tuned.