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A Moment with Julius Irvin, UW Safety and Son of an NFL Legend

Injuries have kept the defensive back scrambling to get healthy.
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Julius Irvin might have the most famous NFL dad of all of his University of Washington teammates, though Carson Bruener, Sam Huard, Dyson McCutcheon and Zeke Pelluer could argue that point.

He's the son of LeRoy Irvin, a four-time Pro Bowl recipient as a cornerback and punt returner who finished his career with 35 interceptions, returning five of them for touchdowns; scored another on a fumble return; added four more TDs on punt runbacks, and still holds the NFL record more most yards in a game on punt returns (207). 

"He's a great person to talk to," said the younger Irvin, himself a safety who offers his gratitude when you mention having seen his father play for the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions (1980-1990).

Rather than try and live up to dad's glorious pro football exploits, Irvin remains remarkably upbeat after he's had to overcome a series of injuries while trying to launch his in Montlake.

He tore his rotator cuff as a freshman at the UW, tore a knee MCL two years ago and since has undergone surgery on his other shoulder.

"The biggest thing for me was battling injuries early in my career, just getting my mental health right and my physical health," he said. "It was challenging for me coming into a new environment, coming into college. After that, these last two years have been great for me."

Taller yet lighter than his dad, the 6-foot-1, 179-pound junior from Anaheim, California, has appeared in 24 Husky games and started against Montana and Michigan last season. He has 14 career tackles, 2 pass break-ups and a 34-yard interception return against Arkansas State.

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He's ready when needed having bounced between the first and second units on defense, penciled in to all the specials teams.

Meanwhile the great LeRoy Irvin will offer football tips when warranted, but he's more concerned as a father than a football legend.

"He gives me advice, not from like a coach, but more life advice, like take care of your body," Irvin said. "He knows how physically damaging the game is and knows what I've been through personally. The biggest thing for him is make sure I'm good mentally and physically."

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