Irvin adds to what is already a stellar recruiting class of 2018 for Chris Petersen and the Huskies. He's their 13th four-star recruit of the class and 20th overall.
One of Washington’s best recruiting classes ever just got even stronger.
Julius Irvin, a four-star defensive back from Servite High in Anaheim, Calif., announced his verbal commitment to the Huskies on Wednesday, adding another top-200 recruit to a UW recruiting class now ranked by 247Sports.com as the No. 9 in the nation and No. 1 in the Pac-12.
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“This has been a long time coming. I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was a little kid, and I just felt that Washington was the best place for me to succeed,” Irvin said in a phone interview.
Irvin chose the Huskies over USC and Alabama, his other finalists. With offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Penn State, among others, he said he felt pressure to commit to a more high-profile program, particularly from the many USC fans around Southern California.
“A lot of people started coming in late (in the recruiting process), but Washington has been there from the start,” he said. “The biggest thing for me was my happiness. When I was in the locker room at Washington, it was the one I felt like I fit in the most. I really bonded with the guys there. And I just figured if nothing else worked out, at least I could be happy there.”
He is the son of LeRoy Irvin, a two-time Pro Bowl selection as a cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1980s.
He is ranked as the No. 177 overall recruit in the Class of 2018 by 247Sports — another touted addition to one of the best classes in UW history. This is the highest-ranked recruiting class ever for Chris Petersen and UW’s highest-ranked class ever in 247Sports’ composite database, which dates to 2000.
Irvin is the 20th recruit to join the Huskies’ 2018 class, and the third defensive back — joining Archbishop Murphy’s Kyler Gordon and Dominique Hampton from Peoria, Ariz. Washington signed 19 recruits during the early signing period in December.
The usual National Signing Day is next Wednesday.
At Servite, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Irvin played safety, cornerback, receiver and he returned kicks, earning first-team all-Trinity League recognition as a senior. He had 52 tackles and five interceptions on defense, and added five touchdown catches on offense in 2017.
He was mostly recruited as a safety, but Irvin said co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake recruited him as a cornerback — and that’s Irvin’s preferred position too.
Lake was Irvin’s primary recruiter, and they first met almost two years ago when Lake was recruiting Irvin’s Servite teammate, cornerback Keith Taylor, now entering his sophomore season at UW.
“Even before he knew I was a decent football player, he would come up and talk to me. That was huge for me,” Irvin said of Lake. “No other school was talking to me at that point. He would just ask how I was doing, and our relationship has grown tremendously from there.”
Irvin made his verbal commitment to the Huskies while hosting Lake for an in-home visit Monday night.
“What I love about him is he never really pressured me or raised his tone or got emotional about it,” Irvin said. “He always told me, ‘Just find the place that fits you. And if it’s us, great. If not, that’s OK.’ But when a coach puts pressure on you, it kind of turned me away.”
Under Lake’s direction, the Huskies have consistently ranked as one of the Pac-12’s best defensive secondaries the past few seasons. Budda Baker, Kevin King and Sidney Jones were all second-round NFL draft picks last year, and safeties Taylor Rapp (first team) and JoJo McIntosh (second team) earned all-Pac-12 honors in 2017.
The Huskies return all five Fiesta Bowl starters from their secondary in 2018 — McIntosh, Rapp, Myles Bryant, Austin Joyner and Byron Murphy — plus senior cornerback Jordan Miller, who is recovering from a broken ankle. UW also signed three highly regarded defensive backs a year ago in Taylor, Brandon McKinney and Elijah Molden, all of whom played as true freshman in 2017.