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Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 04/27/2012

Bruce Irvin is a calculated risk for Pete Carroll, Seahawks

On a night of surprises in the first round of the NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks’ decision to take Bruce Irvin with the 15th pick prompted questions, like ... who? And what?

Irvin is a defensive end fromWest Virginia and someone Coach Pete Carroll has liked for a very long time. In fact, when he was the coach at USC, he recruited Irvin out of junior college, but Irvin’s academic issues kept that from happening.

“We recruited him and we knew him very well,” Carroll said. “We had a very close relationship through the recruiting process. I’ve known this guy for a long time. I know what he brings to a football team, the excitement that he generates. The speed that he brings is so unique and so rare.

“I love that we have a background with the kid, so we knew him all the way through. Maybe some of the other teams didn’t. They didn’t know what the guy was all about and what he brings. We thought we had special information, and we’re really excited about this kid.”

Defensive end Bruce Irvin could give the Seahawks pass rush a big boost. (Lynne Sladky - AP)
As the Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley points out, Carroll and General Manager John Schneider had better be right because they took the riskiest option available. He was jailed on two charges while he was in high school, when he was known as B.J. Irvin, and dropped out, living on the streets for a while. He eventually got his GED and went to Mount San Antonio College, where he resumed playing football.

“I went through a lot of stuff in my life. I’ve seen a lot of stuff, man, and the average person who went through what I went through, they would not be on this phone [conference call] with you right now,” Irvin said. “I could have went the other way. I could have went right, but I chose to go left. When I chose to go left, I told God I wasn’t going back to what was trying to suck me in, and I just surrounded myself with a lot of positive people.”

Irvin was arrested in March and charged with destruction of property and disorderly conduct after an incident involving a Morgantown, W.Va., sandwich-shop delivery car. Charges were dismissed Tuesday.

“I hate it when people say I have character issues,” Irvin said (via the Times’ Danny O’Neil). “I could see if I was getting in trouble in junior college. But I’ve never been suspended. I’ve never failed a drug test.”

Irvin called the incident “a lesson learned. They’re going to magnify [anything] on me. I just can’t go out. Everybody doesn’t want you to be successful.”

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