Irvin explained to West Virginia football announcer Tony Caridi why finishing his degree was important to him:
"Coming here, every athlete wants to go to the NFL, that's their dream. If they tell you it's not, they're probably lying to you. I was one of the few that was fortunate enough to be able to accomplish my dream and being drafted in the NFL in the first round. And don't get me wrong, I do really well on my money, so I didn't have to get my degree.
"It was just something that I looked at like, it's bigger than me. It's for my son, it's for my mom. This is for everybody who really didn't believe in me. I look at it as I proved myself right."
Irvin transferred to West Virginia in 2010 from Mt. San Antonio College. He played two seasons with the Mountaineers from 2010-11, recording 29.0 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks.
That college success led him to become the No. 15 overall pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2012 NFL draft. The now-30-year-old won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in his second season.