Over the offseason, Stone Mountain (Georgia) Stephenson offensive lineman Jalil Irvin, a junior rated as a four-star recruit by 247Sports.com, opted to decommit from Michigan. This came at a time when several other players, including four-star senior defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon, also rescinded their pledge to UM.
With such a seemingly stark shift in momentum away from the Wolverines, many speculated that Jim Harbaugh and Michigan’s recruiting well was about to dry up. That notion, though, is refuted by Irvin, the No. 13 offensive guard at his position for the 2018 cycle.
Irvin spoke with Today’s U to clear up the reasoning behind his decommitment and what it means for his recruitment going forward.
“I just decommitted to venture water and see what was out there,” he said.”
He will certainly have an opportunity to see what his future could look like at a variety of schools. Right now, Irvin sports offers from Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Tulane, and Virginia Tech. Many of these schools reached out to him once the contact period started, and the four-star has also received overtures from Florida, Florida State and LSU.
“It’s actually blowing up, I guess you can say,” he said. “A lot of schools are interested in me.”
Over the next few months, Irvin will make his way to several campuses across the country to check out his prospective suitors. Among his trips, he will see Ohio-Tennessee on September 17, LSU-Auburn on September 24, Virginia Tech-North Carolina on October 8, Vanderbilt-Georgia on October 16, and Florida-Florida State on November 26.
Out of those schools, North Carolina is the most recent program to offer the 6-foot-4, 280-pound lineman, a scholarship that Irvin picked up on the first day of the contact period. He spoke about his most recent offer from the Tar Heels.
“They were my most recent offer, and I love the coaches,” he said. “They are a good school, and I can’t wait to get up there. I’m supposed to be up there in October.”
While on his string of visits, Irvin relayed that he would be focusing most on the game environment, how the team performs, the quality of the campus and coaching staff and how he bonds with each respective group. He would not expound on which coaching staff he has the closest relationship, but he did cover his position with these schools in general terms.
“Everyone I’m trying to get close [with],” Irvin said. “I’m cool with a lot of staffs, though. They talk to me a lot.”
These programs assuredly are interested in the Georgia prospect for a number of reasons, and among them is Irvin’s commitment to improving his game. After last year, he showed ample strength at the point of attack, good lateral movement and an above average poke step, all favorable qualities for a guard at the next level. What most guards don’t possess, though, is Irvin’s lightness on his feet, but he is continually aiming for improvement.
“My feet, getting stronger in the weight room and my hips,” Irvin said. “I feel like my game has even gotten better, but hopefully we start to win. I feel like I have done well, but we can always improve and get better. Hopefully I get even better.”
Click here for a link to Irvin’s highlights from Stephenson’s first three games of the 2017 season.