Player Q&A: Kenny Ingram is back (Part 2)

It's been over a year but the 6-foot-6 safety is back with the Florida State football program after spending time at East Central Community College in Mississippi. Recently, Ingram spoke to the media about his return. The following is part two of that conversation.

Q: What did you learn being away from this place?

Kenny Ingram: Being humble. Before everything was coming at me so fast I was just like whatever. But now, I'm just going to sit down and look at the things coming at me. I appreciate it a lot more.

Q: Do you feel like you took it for granted your first time around?

KI: I wouldn't say took it for granted, but any young kid coming into a major program like that are going to have their upsets.

Q: I know it was rough for you as far as playing time and all that, you went through some personal issues with that. Do you feel like you can handle setbacks?

KI: Now, I look at problems like I face them head on. Before I tried to put some things off. But now I feel like I grew up and matured a lot more than I used to be.

Q: How painful was that last season?

KI: Oh, it was painful. The major thing about me was I was just anxious to get back up here. Because you know when you leave your team like that and you feel like it's kind of your fault, like you're letting them down, and that was my major thing. Letting my mom down and the people that were counting on me. But when I got back I just thanked god because it all came back to me.

Q: You kind of stayed around the program, at least you were out here every once in awhile, was it hard to face these guys and look them in the eye?

KI: Well you know, we're close as a team so a lot of times they'll joke around with me, but it's all love out here. The hardest thing was watching them go through the season knowing that I could have been there contributing. That was the hardest thing for me.

Q: You know as well as I do that one of the things with Coach (Mickey) Andrews is trust. Do you feel like you've got to rebuild that trust with him?

KI: I believe we're going to have to start from scratch on that one. That may be one thing we have to start from scratch. But Mickey has always been good to me and I appreciate it. I like Mickey. I respect him.

Q: Was there any point over the last year where you weren't sure that this moment would get here?

KI: To be honest, a lot of times it was hard on me, but through my family I've been able to stay strong and persevere through it. Because it was hard. A lot of times it was hard. I just wanted to just say forget it because when I came back for the spring I was thinking everybody was like I'm cool, I'm alright. Then come to find out one transfer hour — one hour. I couldn't even play for one hour and I had to take a whole class for the whole semester. So that right there was the turning point that made me just go ahead and push through it.

Q: And what was the moment you knew for sure that everything was all taken care of?

KI: As soon as the school up there, East Central Community College, as soon as they called me and said you got your AA degree, I just took a big sigh of relief. I came up here the same day and talked to the coaches, academic advisers and got the ball moving right there.

Q: That phone call came?

KI: It came I'd say about a good month ago. It was before they got out of school that I knew I had my AA.

Q: How do you tell your parents you're no longer on scholarship at Florida State?

KI: That was the hardest thing for me. Talking to my mom was the hardest thing. My mom is very religious and she seen some of the things that I was doing so before I could even tell her, believe it or not, she seen my face and she already knew what it was. My dad was kind of panicky because me and my dad are close like that, but my mom, she's the one that made me stay strong and go ahead and push through it.

Q: You told both of them together?

KI: Yeah, I had to. I couldn't do it twice because it was just one thing that I had to let go. It was hard for me to even say it because it was a hard fact to face.

Q: Did you think at that point it was over? Or who was the one that told you, you can come back from this?

KI: Well when I spoke with Mickey — Mickey is a very trustworthy guy — so he told me I'm believing in you. You go do what you got to do and he said I'll be waiting on you when you get back. And right then that gave me a boost of confidence, but as soon as my family said we going to stick through it and we going to come through it out together, that let me know right now lets go ahead and push through it and make it happen. There was a couple times coming from ECC and stuff like that I thought it wasn't going to happen. So my family kept me strong through the whole thing.

Q: You were on scholarship here in this palace, then you go to this community college. What was the difference?

KI: The biggest difference to me, it wasn't the team wise because up there they had a good team, a good program and stuff like that. The biggest thing for me was facility wise. Because like you said, coming here from a palace to a JUCO — it's a big difference. From the gear you get to the pads and all that, it's a big difference.

Q: You look a little bigger than the last time you were here.

KI: Yeah, a matter a fact they just told me I looked bigger. I weighed in yesterday at 222. So they told me to stay right there. I talked to Mickey and he said yeah, don't get no bigger. I'm staying right there.

Q: Where were you at when you were here last time?

KI: Before I left I was at 215 — around 215, 213.

Q: Was that one of your goals in the off-season to come back here a little bigger and stronger?

KI: My biggest goal was to come back here faster and more in shape. The getting big part, that just came through like — I haven't been in the sun like these guys. I was doing a lot of facility work at Titus. I was inside so I couldn't get a good sweat like out in the sun. Two-a-days will drop it down.

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