I've spent my entire adult life around the Gator sports program and I would have to put Ingram in the top 10 people/athletes that I've dealt with. I had a great time over in Hawthorne just about a year ago meeting his family while working on a feature for Sun Sports TV on his friendship with Derrick Harvey. I came away from that day and those interviews an ever bigger Ingram fan than I was when I first saw him play football and basketball for the Hawthorne Hornets.
Ingram had the opportunity to turn pro last year and no one would have faulted him for it. He would not have been an early pick, maybe not even a first day pick, but he would have been drafted and would have been earning money.
But that's now what Cornelius Ingram wanted. He wanted to finish up his degree, which he will this fall. He also wanted to out a winner, with a big shiny ring to commemorate another championship season. That's why he returned for his senior season; a season that ended before it ever began.
I've had the case to occasionally write about how I'm not supposed to have favorites as a media guy, but sometimes I fail. Cornelius Ingram was one of my biggest failures in that regard. I can't help but pull for this fine young man, and I'll be cheering him through rehab as well. Injuries like this shouldn't happen to the nicest guy on the team.
Certainly Ingram's departure hurts Florida on the football field, but that's a discussion for another time. He'll still be around offering his advice, encouragement an direction to his teammates, notably Aaron Hernandez and Tate Casey. He might still end up with another ring, but it won't be the same for Cornelius Ingram. And the Gator season won't be the same without him.
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel
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