Two-Sport Star Talks Recruiting

It's not often during the summer months that Hawthorne, Fla. standout quarterback Cornelius Ingram gets a chance to throw the football around. That's because he plays basketball competitively during the summer months.

"Between all the camps, tournaments, and AAU stuff, I don't get a whole lot of time away from basketball over the summer," Ingram said. "Whenever I do, I try to throw [the football] as much as I can. I went to the NIKE Camp and I'll also be going to the Florida State camp in July for a few days."

At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Ingram was one of the top performers at this year's NIKE Camp in Gainesville.

"I did alright," he said. "I was a little rusty because I hadn't been throwing that much until then."

Ingram spent his freshman and sophomore years running track as well. He participated in two events -- triple jump and 4x1.

When the talented quarterback started playing football, he wasn't even into basketball.

"I was about seven years old and I wasn't even really into basketball at the time," he said. "I picked up on it later on. It's just something that I love doing and that I hope to continue through college."

Ingram said he's asked the same question every day -- football or basketball if he had to choose one.

"I tell every coach that tries to recruit me that I want to do both in college," he said. "So far, I haven't heard anyone say there's a problem with that. It would be a really tough decision and I hope I never have to make it. Actually, yes I do. I want to play in the NFL or the NBA someday so I'd choose whichever one pays me more money (laughing)."

Ingram, who is still waiting on ACT scores to come back, has been one of the most heavily recruited players in the state up to this point in the recruiting process.

"Most of the schools that would recruit me for basketball understand that I'm going to be playing football so I'm going to have to use up a football scholarship," he said. "That's actually a good thing because it'll save the basketball team a scholarship to give to someone else. I'm looking at a bunch of schools right now. I like Florida State, Florida, Miami, North Carolina, Syracuse, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and Louisville."

The talented signal-caller said he spoke to coaches from all nine programs in the spring time.

"They all pretty much talked about the same things," he said. "We talked about me playing basketball. We talked about the depth charts, just different stuff like that."

Ingram even had something to tell the coaches that called.

"They just don't understand," he said. "I told them not to pay any attention to the rankings that come out. I feel that I'm easily one of the top 15 overall football players in the country and if I ever got a chance to focus on just one sport, I would really dominate. But they both hold their weight right now so it's not easy. Picking a college is going to be the biggest and most important decision of my life so I'm certainly in no hurry to make that decision before I'm ready or anything like that."

Ingram said he recalls speaking to UM quarterbacks coach Dan Werner last month.

"He came by the school and we talked on the phone," he said. "He was talking good stuff. He basically told me that everyone that comes into their program is going to have to compete no matter how highly rated they are. He said I'd be given a fair shot to go in and compete with any of their young quarterbacks."

One of those young quarterbacks is Kyle Wright, the nation's top-rated passer from last year's recruiting class.

"I've thought about that," he said. "He's a great player. I don't want to go in and get behind a freshman that has a year up on me because the coaches will know him a little better. But on the otherhand, it doesn't really matter to me. I love to compete and I'll go compete against anyone but I'd just rather be able to compete against someone that's a freshman with me instead of competiting with a freshman that has a year up on me."

Another factor working in Miami's favor is the friendship Ingram has with former UM running back Clinton Portis.

"Portis is from Gainesville and I know him," he said. "He was a great player that had a great career at Miami. I'm definitely considering them."

Ingram claims scholarship offers from all nine of his favorites. That includes Miami.

"Coach Werner said I have a scholarship if I want to come," he said. "He said 'we'd like to have you play here' and I told him I was definitely interested in it."

The talented quarterback currently lives 15 miles from the University of Florida campus. He's also high on the Gators.

"I like them a lot too," he said. "I've talked to the coaches, been to the school, and stuff like that. I went down to the campus on Sunday and talked to the coaches about Chris Leak. They said he'll be in next week to start working out and stuff. I know that he has a strong arm but so does everyone that gets recruited at this level. I also know that he's 6-feet and I'm 6-4. Even though he's a year up, I'd go in and compete with him, I know that."

And what about the Seminoles?

"I like Florida State a lot too," he said. "I'm going to their camp next month. I play on an AAU team out of Tallahassee. They've produced some good quarterbacks and they're going to need one this year."

Ingram denies a favorite and said he plans on taking his time through the recruiting process.

"I'll definitely take my visits and all that," he said. "When it comes to making a decision, I'm going to look at the quarterback history of the school and whether or not I can go in and play right away. I don't want to go anywhere and sit around waiting for someone else to leave. Like I said, though, I'll compete with anyone."

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