Former Hart wide receiver Trenton Irwin has become somewhat of an institution at Stanford.
His wavy blonde hair and extensive NFL jersey collection make him easy to spot around campus, along with his distinguished red bicycle. In fact, Stanford Athletics produced a video chronicling a day in the life of the 6-foot-2, 205-pound wideout back in September.
After Stanford’s win over Notre Dame last week, he came across a kid he had previously met on his way back to the locker room and wanted to give him his gloves. The only problem was he had already given his gloves away to other youngsters, so he had to settle for his headband.
The next day, Irwin shared a photo of the kid rocking the Nike headband, with an ear-to-ear smile.
“His mom said that it was the best day ever for him because he got the headband from me,” Irwin said. “That was pretty heartwarming.”
Irwin’s rise is correlated to a breakout junior campaign, placing second on a run-heavy offense — led by Heisman Trophy hopeful Bryce Love — with 436 yards receiving and 39 receptions.
“He’s got tremendous hands and ability, but more than that, he’s a good, good young man,” said Hart coach Mike Herrington, who believes Irwin is the best receiver in Hart history. “He works his butt off and is a friend to anyone that crosses his path.”
Just like many around Santa Clarita Valley have kept tabs on Irwin, he kept a steady eye on the Indians.
He was at their last-minute win over Golden Valley in the regular season
“I haven’t been to as many games as I’d like but I definitely keep up with them,” Irwin said. “They had a great team with some great athletes, which doesn’t come as a surprise to me.”
Irwin and the Cardinal are prepping for a rematch against USC on Friday in the Pac 12 title game at Levi’s Stadium. The first time they met, it was on the heels of a season-opening win over Rice played in Australia, and they were defeated, 42-24.
They followed that with a loss to San Diego State.
“Having to play (in Australia) messed us up a little bit,” Irwin said. “I think we’re a different team now, though. At that point, we thought we were the real deal. We never play our best football that way. We play our best when we’re just grinding and working hard.”
Stanford has won eight of nine since the loss to SDSU, with wins over Notre Dame and Washington, who were ranked inside the top 10 of the AP Top 25 poll at the time of the game. It jumped nine points in the College Football Playoff poll this week and sits at No. 12.
As a freshman, Irwin watched as Stanford topped USC for the Pac 12 title. He estimated he played about 10-15 snaps that game, and didn’t have a catch. He predicted he’ll be in on 40-50 snaps this week, and will be a top target for quarterback K.J. Costello.
“The first time around I feel like I didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity to play on that stage,” Irwin said. “I’ll be more involved with the game this time and I’ll just look to have more fun in the moment with the boys.”