Fresh Start

Blair Irvin had current and future family members pulling him in two different directions as he weighed his college choice. He ended up taking a path of his own.

"My family is close to Auburn, and they wanted me to go there," said Irvin, who originally committed to the SEC power out of high school before taking a four-year detour into professional baseball. "They all live around there. And my fiancee's family was hoping I would choose Kansas State, because that is closer to them. But in the end, I figured I might as well make both of them mad, so I committed to West Virginia."

Irvin was joking about that part of his decision making process, but he can certainly be granted some room to jest, as the upcoming week figures to be one of the biggest ones of his life. In addition to making his college choice, he will graduate from Coffeyville Community College on Dec. 14th, marry his fiancée on the 15th, and then sign his Letter of Intent to attend West Virginia on the 17th. With such a packed schedule and major life changes, a wry look at his decision helped ease a bit of the stress.

Irvin had good things to say about all three programs, but in the end the chance to come to West Virginia and make a fresh start with his family (his wife and child will accompany him to Morgantown) won out.

"West Virginia is a really good program, and I had a great visit there. The coaches and everyone were great," he said as he prepared for his last week of classes at Coffeyville. "Part of the decision was that I like to get away from places I am familiar with and learn about new places. It will be new for all of us, and I just thought it was a place where I could be comfortable, and could start my family."

While most players coming to college just have to be concerned with their own adjustment, Irvin will also have to find a place to live for his new family. He will be able to receive some assistance in that search, and has already heard about a few potential living spaces. He will check those out when he comes to West Virginia in January, and hopes to get everything settled quickly so he can concentrate on making his mark on the Mountaineer program.

While WVU graduates three cornerbacks this year, Irvin said the prospect of immediate playing time was not a major factor in his decision.

"All of the schools that wanted me told me I would have the opportunity to play early, so that wasn't something I thought about," Irvin said. "Coming out of junior college, I think I can play right off the bat."

West Virginia figures to start Irvin out at cornerback, where he excelled this year, but he, like many Mountaineer recruiting targets, is a dual threat.

"In high school, I was always a wide receiver, and my first year here I played wide receiver too," he noted. "I moved to corner this year and had a good year, but I think I could play either one at West Virginia."

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