Irwin heads to NFL
By Kyle Salomon
Living your lifelong dream is very rare, especially in sports, but for Mustang native Bronson Irwin, that dream became a reality on May 10.
The former Bronco and Oklahoma Sooner star offensive lineman got the call he had been waiting for since he strapped on the pads for the first time as a young boy – the Seattle Seahawks wanted to sign Irwin to a post-draft free agent contract.
Irwin agreed to the contract with the world champion Seahawks and was on a plane May 11 headed for Seattle to begin life in the National Football League.
“It was a great feeling,” Irwin said. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just very thankful for the opportunity and look forward to working hard and being a part of a winning organization.”
Since Irwin’s last game with the Sooners in early January at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the 6-foot-5, 315-pound 2010 Mustang graduate has been training in Atlanta with his trainer and agent.
He said the workouts went really well and the process was similar to one he had before.
“I wanted to prepare my body and my mind to the best of my ability,” he said. “I focused solely on training as hard as I could and focused on having a good pro day at OU. The whole process was very similar to being back in high school and being recruited by a lot of colleges. You just have to spend a lot of time talking to different teams and getting to know them while they get to know you.”
At Oklahoma’s Pro Day in March at the Everest Training Center in Norman, Irwin was more than impressive as he led all of the participants in the bench press. Irwin put up 225 pounds 30 times.
After the pro day was over, Irwin was able to spend a couple days in Mustang with his family before going back to Atlanta to continue his workouts heading into the draft.
Once Irwin found out where he was going to be playing professional football, he said he was glad the process was completed.
“It’s exciting and relieving at the same time,” he said. “It’s good to know where you are going to be and who you are going to be playing for, but also it’s good to get the whole thing over with, so you can concentrate on playing football.”
Irwin said he spoke with the Seahawks before the draft began and they told him they would like to sign him as a free agent if he was not drafted. The Seahawks got their wish.
“I’m really excited to go into a winning culture,” Irwin said. “I have played in winning environments all of my life. First, in high school at Mustang, then of course in college at OU, so to come to an organization that just won the Super Bowl in February is going to be awesome.”
The Seahawks didn’t waste any time getting Irwin and the other rookies on the squad up to Seattle for workouts. Irwin flew to Seattle on Sunday following the Saturday signing and then started the rookie mini-camp for a week.
Irwin and the team are now taking part in Organized Team Activities. Once the OTA’s are completed, Irwin will have close to a month off before having to return in late July for training camp.
During the month off, Irwin will come back to Oklahoma and continue to train for the upcoming season.
The rookie mini-camp and the OTA’s was the first time Irwin has ever been to Seattle. He said he enjoys the city.
“The weather has been great,” he said. “Everyone always said the weather is terrible, but it has been beautiful since I have been up here. Everyone is really nice and is very supportive.”
When it comes to setting goals for himself in this experience, Irwin said he is just focused on getting better right now.
“I’m not setting personal goals just yet,” he said. “I just want to take it all in, work as hard as I can and learn the system as quickly as possible. The more knowledge I have, the better it will be.”