Irwin makes most of his shot at CMU
Grand Junction High School graduate Mitch Irwin is getting a second chance and is making the most of it.
The Colorado Mesa University football player had four sacks and several more quarterback hurries for the White team in its 14-0 victory over the Cardinal team in the spring scrimmage Saturday at Bergman Field.
“Just playing the game is really exciting for me,” Irwin said. “I’ve been out of the game for like a year. I’ve had some family stuff going on. I was really excited to come out here and show what I can do.
“It’s been a struggle just to get back. I’m thankful for these coaches to give me a chance. It’s a big weight off my shoulders.”
Mesa running back Jerreon Dennis, who played with Irwin at Grand Junction, wasn’t surprised.
“He’s doing good,” said Dennis, who scored a touchdown for the White team. “In high school, he held our defense together. He was the one that always got people in the right places. He worked his (tail) off basically and it shows.”
Irwin went to Northwestern Iowa College out of high school in 2010, but was kicked out because of poor grades, he said.
The sophomore defensive end came back to Grand Junction, enrolled at Mesa and walked onto the team last fall.
“He is an intense player. He’s got a high motor. He plays 100 percent. He plays with great focus. He’s going to make some plays,” CMU coach Russ Martin said.
“With what we do defensively, he’ll be able to play on either (defensive end) side. He’s quick, he’s strong. He doesn’t stay blocked. He’s going to be all right.”
Irwin is confident he can be an every-down defensive end.
“A lot of people see me getting sacks, but I stop the run, too,” Irwin said. “I know I’m an undersized D-lineman, but there’s a lot of power behind me.”