AUBURN, Alabama – Senior offensive lineman Jalil Irvin came to the Plains to pursue his dream of playing football for a Division I program and will leave Auburn after this upcoming season with an unforgettable experience that goes beyond the field.
A self-proclaimed “mommy’s boy” from Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga., Irvin originally committed to Michigan but eventually chose Auburn his freshman year of high school. The decision came down to wanting to stay close to his “heart” and the one who raised him, his mother, Chantay Irvin.
Originally from Detroit, Jalil and his mother moved south when he was around 6 years old. “My mother is about two hours away,” he said. “She’s a single mom, so I wanted to stay close to her.”
While the shorter distance was nice, it wasn’t the only factor in Irvin’s decision. Amid the visits and offers, there was something about Auburn that was special to her mother.
“Mom knows best, so I listen to her,” he said. “I know she had my best interests at heart. It was the only school my mother really liked, out of all the schools I’ve been to. I really think that’s why I came here.
Growing up, Irvin admittedly didn’t know much about Auburn, but he remembers when the Tigers first appeared on his radar.
“Cam Newton. I remember seeing him play in 2010,” he said. “I probably watched every game. It was pretty cool. At 10 you see a guy jump over the line from scrimmage at 6-5, 250 pounds, and just think, ‘That’s not normal.'”