Denzel Irvin took an unofficial visit to the University of Charlotte (N.C.) last month. He loved it, his parents loved it and after about three weeks of mulling his decision, the Winter Garden Foundation Academy cornerback committed the 49ers on Saturday.
“It was the atmosphere up there and my parents really liked it and I love the coaching staff,” Irvin said. “Those are the things that really stood out to me, and I feel like I can be there the next four years and so that’s what really sold me on my decision.”
Irvin was also enticed by the opportunity to be part of the budding football program that will play its first full NCAA schedule this season with its bon voyage adventure starting Aug. 31, at home it the 49ers new stadium against Campbell University.
Charlotte is in its two-year phase of transitioning and will become a full-fledged member of the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2015, joining the Sun Belt Conference.
“That was a big deal for me too. I felt that it was a chance to be a part of history with the new program and Conference USA,” Irvin said. “They’re still building and I felt I can be a part of that and it’s just another thing that sold me.”
Irvin has been recruited to Charlotte by inside linebackers coach Drew Dayton, the Orlando-area recruiter for the 49ers.
“He told me he likes how I come down to the ball and just my awareness for the ball in the air and he also said he likes my character,” said Irvin, who was also receiving interest from FAU, FIU, FAMU, Northern Illinois and Eastern Illinois.
As a junior, Irvin had 82 tackles with five sacks and two interceptions. He also had eight passes broken up and two tackles-for-loss.
The status of Charlotte as a new program also gives Irvin more confidence about getting on the field early.
“Oh yeah … I think with my talent I can really bring something to Charlotte,” Irvin said. “I think I’m good enough to get on the field when I’m there but I’ll have to let that play out.”
Irvin, the 48th-ranked player in the Sentinel's 2014 Central Florida Super60, has yet to plan his official visit to Charlotte, but he’s relieved to have his decision made.
“It makes me feel good and takes the pressure off and now I can focus on the season and getting to states like we want to do,” he said.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun