Ingram Ready to Take Another Step

Not too many college student-athletes have ever undergone the transformation that Florida's Cornelius Ingram has. He came to UF as one of the nation's top two-sport athletes and in his first year showed more promise on the basketball court than the football field.

He stunned many when he chose football over basketball; a move that seemed like a huge mistake when the Gator Basketball team won the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

But Ingram persevered, even though he was almost an afterthought in the Gator offense. Chris Leak wasn't in the habit of looking for the tight end and through nine games the 6-4, 230-pound Ingram had just 10 catches. Everything changed down the stretch and Ingram caught 20 passes in Florida's final four games including four against Ohio State.

Now a fourth-year junior, Ingram is a combination receiver/tight end in the Gator offense and is the toughest guy on the Florida offense to match up with. I spoke with him about fall camp and the potential for the Gators this fall.

LV: Cornelius, what kind of progress has the offense made during camp?

CI: I think we've made a lot of progress. Everyone is working hard, everyone wants to get better and everyone has a positive attitude and that's really what matters.

LV: How about that backup quarterback competition? How do you see that going from your perspective?

CI: All of them are coming on. I think they all have good chemistry with the receivers going on. The good thing about it is all of them are good and all of them can throw it. They also have that bond with each other on and off the field and that's good for the team. It's going to be hard to pick the two.

LV: Let's talk about John Brantley. A lot of people said he was just a pocket passer and really didn't fit this offense. Do you think he has what it takes to run this offense?

CI: Oh yeah. He's come out with a positive attitude the entire camp and he throws a great ball. Leading the second team offense he's gotten a chance to do his thing and that's just what he's doing.

LV: As a fourth year guy, do you thin of yourself as a junior or a senior?

CI: I guess off the field I consider myself a senior. On the field I'm more like a junior, really because I just started playing last year. To be honest with you, last year seemed like a freshman year ‘cuz I was finally out there playing.

LV: Well it might have felt like a freshman year, but you're a veteran on this very young team. Do you feel an obligation or any pressure to be a leader?

CI: If the guys look up to me as an upperclassman all I can do is lead by example, work as hard as I can and try to get everyone going.

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