4-star running back Sedrick Irvin Jr. was born to be a football player. His father, Sedrick Irvin, was drafted in the fourth round of the 1999 NFL draft after three seasons at Michigan State and has been a coach for 15 years. His father’s uncle is Michael Irvin, the Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver who won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.
Now, Irvin Jr. is destined to carve his own path. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound recruit attends Miami's Gulliver Prep, where he is coached by his father, who worked on Nick Saban’s coaching staff at Alabama the year Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy.
Once schools began taking interest in him, Irvin Jr. said his father told him that his college decision is ultimately up to him.
“He told me to go somewhere where I’m wanted,” Irvin Jr. said. “He doesn’t try to influence me too much.”
While his father doesn’t involve himself too heavily in his son's recruiting process, he has passed on a lifetime of knowledge and advice to Irvin Jr. that has led his son to garner multiple D1 offers.
“He definitely instilled in me hard work and perfecting my craft,” Irvin Jr. said. “He’s big on not being centered on one thing, and he’s helped me to become a better all-around back.”
Irvin Jr. began collecting offers in the fall of 2019, as big-time programs such as Penn State, Miami, and Ole Miss all came calling during his freshman season. Oregon offered him on April 10, 2020.
“It was crazy,” Irvin Jr. said of his reaction to the offer from Oregon. “Growing up seeing De’Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota and guys from that era… around that time, I was definitely an Oregon fan. When I’d play NCAA Football, I’d always choose Oregon.”
The offer was extended to him by none other than Bobby Williams, who was the running backs coach at Michigan State under head coach Nick Saban while Irvin Jr.’s father was there. Williams also worked on staff under Saban at Alabama with Irvin Jr’s father from 2008-09 — Irvin Jr’s father was an intern and Williams was the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.
“They had a close bond,” Irvin Jr. said of his father’s relationship with Coach Williams. “Like a father-son relationship.”
More than a year after the offer from Oregon, Irvin Jr. and his family made the trip to Eugene for his first official visit.
Coach Williams was one of the first people that Irvin Jr. spoke with once he arrived on campus. He also spoke extensively with Running Backs Coach Jim Mastro in his office.
“The conversation I had with Coach Mastro really proved to me how good of a coach he was,” Irvin Jr. said. “It was a football-centered talk, which I feel like I don’t get enough of.”
He then got to take a tour of the campus, as well as the facilities and weight room.
“I liked it a lot,” Irvin Jr. said of the campus. “It was really different from Miami, but the campus is really nice. The facilities are great, and the coaches are really welcoming.”
One coach that Irvin Jr. made a special connection with is Head Coach Mario Cristobal, who is also a Miami native.
“We hadn’t really talked before, so it was pretty cool,” Irvin Jr. said of his meeting with Cristobal.
Then came time for Irvin Jr. to rock the Ducks uniform and hit the field at Autzen Stadium.
Sedrick Irvin Jr. Oregon Visit
“It was crazy, especially with it being my first visit,” Irvin Jr. said of being at Autzen. “It set the bar pretty high. It was cool to wear the uniforms.
“The attention to detail that Nike puts into everything they do really shows how important athletics are to them, and I think that’s pretty cool.”
Setting the bar has been a common theme for recruits who visit the University of Oregon and its football facilities. Next up for Irvin Jr. are trips to Maryland on June 12, Notre Dame on June 14, and Stanford on June 19.
Irvin Jr. said he looks for a school with a good “campus vibe and locker room vibe,” as well as somewhere where he can play early. So how does Oregon stack up with that criteria?
“I think Oregon is a good fit in general,” he said. “Especially after seeing what they did recently with their offensive line, it shows that they’re creating great O-linemen seeing the improvement that they’ve had.
“Also, they have had a great tradition at running back. It shows that they’re doing something right.”
Irvin Jr. doesn’t have a decision date set, but with two years of high school football remaining, he’s certainly going to stack more offers and garner more national attention as one of the top players in the 2023 class.
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