May 9, 2008

Instant Impact No. 3: CB Blair Irvin

Help has arrived for the Kansas State secondary this offseason. Not only has Joshua Moore, the team's most capable defensive back returned from a suspension that sidelined him for the entirety of last season, but the Wildcats' 2008 recruiting class features three cornerbacks, the most anticipated of whom ranks third on out list of impact newcomers. Junior Blair Irvin is showing he is capable of living up to the hype as he has already inserted himself into the mix of cornerbacks vying for starting months before the start of his first season in Manhattan.

Blair Irvin

defensive back

5-foot-11, 185-pound junior

Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College notes: After committing to current national champion LSU prior to the 2002 season, Irvin's road to Manhattan was not a conventional one. The Louisiana native spent the better part of four years playing professional baseball in the Tampa Bay Rays' farm system, making it as high as AAA with both the Rays and Florida Marlins before deciding to return to football in 2006. In his second year back on a football field, Irvin, a 3-star prospect and the No. 50 junior college player in America, was a second-team all-conference selection. He committed to K-State on Dec. 19 after fielding offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri and West Virginia. The soon-to-be 24-year old will have three years to play two seasons as a Wildcat.

Irvin on K-State: "I saw they were getting a lot of junior college guys. That showed me they know how to handle them. A lot of them have been through there in the last two years. I also know (current K-State seniors) Deon Murphy and Gary Chandler. I played with both of them at Coffeyville and they are there next year with me."

"(Irvin) is a 23-year-old junior, which is very much a positive. He is a veteran player that has been around. He's still learning the game of football and how to perfect his own craft but from a maturity standpoint has been terrific. He has very good movement skills. We anticipate him being in the mix to compete and make our corner position better."

-- K-State head coach Ron Prince

Why he will help: Returning from a season-long suspension, Moore figures to occupy one of K-State's starting cornerback spots, and Irvin, a mid-year arrival, is the early favorite to sew up the other. The Louisiana native was recruited by Auburn and LSU out of high school, which highlights his skill potential, and he has used spring workouts to showcase the reasons why. Irvin runs a 4.4 40-yard dash and possesses the ability to beat blocks and help against the run. The early impression he has made on K-State coach Ron Prince, who sings the defensive back's praises time after time, gives him a leg up on fellow newcomer Dustin Bell and many of the Wildcats' veteran defensive backs. Expect Irvin to also see action as a return specialist this fall after shining in the spring on kickoff returns.

Why he could sit: K-State is deep, at least numerically, at the cornerback spot, and a four-year hiatus from anything resembling organized football is hard for anyone, regardless of athletic prowess to bounce back from. After being back on the gridiron for just two seasons, Irvin will be asked to beat out senior Ray Cheatham, who started six games at corner for the Cats a year ago, as well as newcomers Bell and Billy McClellan to earn the position opposite Moore. Otis Johnson and Kendrick Matthews figure to play into the competitive mix as well, but Irvin holds a significant physical edge over both. How much playing time the newcomer receives will ultimately come down to his ability to quickly adjust to Division I football and grasp the K-State playbook.

Check out Blair Irvin's profile page by clicking on his name to see more pictures, previous prospect updates, measurables, rankings and more.


1. ???
2. ???
3. Blair Irvin
4. Wade Weibert
5. Aubrey Quarles
6. Daniel Thomas
7. Ulla Pomele
8. Adrian Hilburn
9. Hansen Sekona
10. George Pierson
11. John Finau
12. Keithen Valentine
13. Antonio Felder
14. Attrail Snipes
15. Dustin Bell

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!