"I ain't no freshman,'' the young man said in what we assumed was all seriousness, not a trace of his gold-toothed smile showing through. "I's Antonio Brown.''
Irvin, of course, is no freshman, either. He's been around the block more than once - certainly more than most college seniors - having given up football in high school, running afoul of the law, even spending time in jail and then resurrecting his life via junior college football and then a couple of years at West Virginia.
He's even made enough time to watch a little college football and study it. How else to explain his first real opinion on the Clemson team he'll face in Wednesday's Orange Bowl. Keep in mind this was a few weeks back, before he'd watched a single bit of video on the Tigers.
"They run down a pretty nice hill to touch a big rock before a game,'' Irvin said.
Tell the truth. You're going to miss that, aren't you? You want Bruce Irvin in front of that pen. You need Bruce Irvin in front of that pen.
I know I do. Just about any chat with Bruce Irvin is good for two, maybe three separate Bruce Irvin stories, which is why you haven't read the last of him from me this week. He has one more college game to go before he begins to really work toward the April NFL draft. And although he refuses to talk about his pre-draft workout plans, he was obviously frustrated that during his last prolonged opportunity to impress scouts during the season, the attention paid to him by opposing defensive coordinators made that nearly impossible.
"But I'm sure DeMarcus Ware and Terrell Suggs and those guys get all that in the NFL,'' Irvin said. "You've got to adjust to it, and those guys have me by 40 or 50 pounds. Hopefully when I get to that weight, a triple-team won't be a problem.''
Oh, so that's the workout plan between Wednesday's Orange Bowl and April's draft, huh? Eat and gain 40 pounds?
"Ain't no lying about that,'' Irvin said. "Eat, eat, eat.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.