Senior Enjoying Strong Finish To His Career

Jeremy Ingle talks about finishing up his career in style at the Sugar Bowl and the special bond among the 2004 Auburn Tigers.

New Orleans, La.--Former walk-on Jeremy Ingle has made the most of his senior season after fighting his way into a starting job after four years of working his way up the depth chart.

And the talented center, who has stayed in the lineup despite having a very painful high ankle sprain for the final three games of the season, says that closing out his career in style at the Sugar Bowl would be a great way to complete his football playing days.

"It's a dream come true," he says about the experience. "I have been watching the Sugar Bowl since I was two or three years old and being able to see Auburn finally come to one after all of these years and being able to see that excitement from in the Superdome and just being there with all of my best friends like Danny (Lindsey) and Rich (Trucks), too. Just looking at them and knowing that this is our last practice and that this is the last time we will be able to break it down as a unit. This is a really special time for me right now and it is kind of bittersweet, but I am glad I got to live this experience."

Ingle says, however, that the trip to the Big Easy has not been a perfect experience and he learned a quick life lesson down in the French Quarter. "I have lost my butt in this casino," Ingle explains. "It is unreal, my buddy Todd Hughes goes in there and hits his first slot. The first time he pulls it down he pulls 900 dollars out of the slot machine. Then, he goes and wins 500 the next day playing poker. I go in there like, ‘Man, maybe I can win,'--300 dollars gone in about an hour. I refuse to go back in there that place is a rip off.

Despite being excited about his team's trip to the Sugar Bowl, Ingle says that he certainly feels like he and his teammates have been getting the short end of the national media stick when it comes to discussing the national championship. "For somebody to be brash enough to go out there and say that we don't deserve this and USC and Oklahoma are the two best teams in the country, I think that is ridiculous," he explains. "I don't see it. I really don't. I have watched them play. I think they are good teams, but how can you not put us in that category. You look on ESPN now and you don't hear anything about Auburn. You hear Corso and Herbstreet talking about USC and Oklahoma that is all you hear about and yeah it pisses me off. It is ridiculous and that is just the way I feel about it."

He adds that he and his teammates know that playing to win against Virginia Tech is all they can do now. "Honestly, the way people are talking, all over nationally, I don't think it matters what we do," Ingle says about the possibility of the Tigers being awarded the AP national championship with a win. "We can go 13-0 and we are probably just going to get a handshake, but you know what that doesn't matter. You have just got to go out there and play to win and that is what we are going to do and whatever happens, happens. That is out of our control so all we can do is go out there play hard and go 13-0."

Ingle poses with offensive line coach Hugh Nall after the Tigers finsihed the regular season 11-0 with a victory over Alabama.

The center says that after watching video he thinks that the Virginia Tech defensive line will certainly provide a stern test for the Tigers' offensive line and Auburn's shot at that undefeated season. "Their defensive linemen are the best we have seen all year," he notes. "I compare them right there with LSU the way they give you different looks and sets. We have just got to go out there and stick to our schemes and get after them. I mean the key to this game is going to be getting off the ball. I think if we can get off the ball we can handle them."

Whether they win or lose the game on Monday night this group of Tigers is definitely a special group that will be remembered for many years to come by Auburn fans, and Ingle says the reason for that is simply a chemistry and selflessness among the group.

"The bonds that each player has made with each other, this team is so unified together and you don't see that with a lot teams these days," Ingle explains. "You see a lot of individuality and people going out and doing their own thing and wanting to be superstars and really straying from the whole team concept, which is not what this team is about.

"Our best player on the team, I believe, is Jason Campbell and he is one of the biggest team guys you will ever find," the center adds. "He is all about winning. He is not about himself so he just goes out there and leads his team and we respond to him."

He adds that Auburn's team concept is even more evident when you simply look right behind Campbell to the Tigers talented backfield. "I couldn't imagine giving up the kind of money that they gave up last year to come back and share a backfield together when they knew they wouldn't get the Heisman hype because they would have to split carries and split time on the field," he says about Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown's decision to come back for their senior season. "You have got a lot of guys like Peterson at Oklahoma who is getting all the hype because he is the guy in the backfield. If Carnell or Ronnie got 30 or 40 carries a game they would be up there with the Heisman hype too, but that is something all of these so called experts seem to overlook."


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