October 14, 2009

Irwin Leads the Way for Sooner Commits

While Mustang, Okla. four-star offensive tackle Bronson Irwin may have had a host during his official visit to Norman last weekend he may as well have served as host for the four other offensive line official visitors. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound offensive lineman during his life has spent more time in Norman than many of the current Sooners.

Irwin admits that fellow commitment Tyrus Thompson had more than a few questions for the long-time Sooner fan.

"Tyrus asked me a lot of questions about the traditions, hopefully I can kind of help guys because I know my way around. They definitely kind of ask me stuff here and there," Irwin admitted. "It's been kind of a different feeling knowing what I'm going to do.

"That Tulsa game, the first home game when we went down there it was different, it was a different feeling. It kind of hit me that maybe next year I'll be out there, I'll be on the sidelines and all these people are going to be behind me. It's something that I've always wanted to do since I was younger. I worked hard and I accomplished it now I'm going to do it."

That type of friendship between Irwin, Thompson, Adam Shead, Austin Woods, and most recent Sooner commitment Daryl Williams is something that isn't lost on the Rivals250 offensive lineman.

"It's great, at the high school level, the offensive line seems to be cool, they hang together outside of the field and the school," he said. "I enjoy building that with these guys. I can already tell we are going to be a close group, I can tell that we are going to be a tight knit group.

"The visit it went well, had a good time and hung out with the other commits and added another one to the family so I guess it was about as a good as you could expect."

As mentioned above, during the weekend the Sooners picked up a commitment from Daryl Williams and Irwin admits that he was surprised the 6-foot-5, 269-pound Lake Dallas prospect made the call during his visit.

But it was more the matter of the timing than any shock about Oklahoma coming out on top in Irwin's eyes.

"He said that at camp this summer he wanted to commit so bad and that he didn't want to wait but I guess his mom had told him she wanted him to take his officials so I guess this was his first one. I thought he would wait, I was kind of surprised when he didn't," Williams said.

During their visit the commitments had a multitude of hosts but Irwin said the bulk of his time were spent with a pair of his future linemates.

"We got to hang out with the players and stuff after the game, just being around the players. My host guy was Stephen Good]/db], it was cool hanging out with him and [db]Ben Habern and Austin," he said. "We had a good time and got to know those guys a little better. Those are the kind of guys you want to play with.

"They kind of told us some stuff about the off-season workouts since Austin and I are coming in during January. They told us to run as much as we can before we get here. Also, just the mental stuff about the game, little things like that."

Did Irwin let those two know he plans to come in and make an impact on an already young Sooner offensive line?

"I'd like to think I could play early, especially coming in early, but you know they redshirt a lot of guys too. Either way I'm happy that I can come in. If I can make an instant impact that's great," he said.

The chance to make that early impact is aided by a reality that Irwin recognizes, the fact that Mustang and Oklahoma share somewhat similar offenses.

"They throw the ball a lot, but we pass the ball more than we run it, pass rush stuff. They do a lot of similar pass-pro protection, I've heard the biggest transition is how to pass-pro and how to have the proper technique. Hopefully it will get me a little ahead of the curve," he said.

Irwin may have some mental understanding of how to deal with Oklahoma's offense but realizes that in several ways he has a lot to learn. He did watch the Sooner offensive line during the game and had a few things he took away from the action.

"I try to watch the offensive line as a unit, they rotate in. They play a bunch of different guards and switch stuff. I try and pick out plays, stuff that I saw some things they run I can pick one of those out," he said.

"When I get there I'll need to work on everything. I don't think you really know what exactly it is until you get there and you get hit. You just have to get better at everything. Everyone is going to be bigger, faster, and stronger than you. Everyone knows that coming in, it's a transition and you have to get that out of the way as quickly as possible."

Irwin, who seems to have picked out Austin Woods as his roommate during his early enrollment, is in the middle of perhaps the state's most interesting district playoff race and has had to strategically pick a spot to fix his injured hand. Two weeks ago Irwin broke a metatarsal in his hand but had a minor surgery on Tuesday to fix the problem.

"It's just an outpatient deal. They put a screw in there to stitch me up and see how those stitches feel and I'm only going to miss the Moore game, that's definitely a positive."

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