Pack, Heels Battle for In-State Linebacker

Perhaps no position is more critical to NC State in the class of 2007 than linebacker and the Pack has set their sights on one of North Carolina's best prospects at that position. We catch up with linebacker Melvin Ingram and get the lowdown on which schools he's keeping a close eye on.

Although Richmond County linebacker Melvin Ingram hasn't received a lot of preseason publicity, don't let the lack of hype fool you. The rising senior has emerged as one of the most sought-after linebackers in the state with in-state rivals, NC State and UNC leading the charge for his commitment.

At 6-2, 227 pounds, Ingram put up solid numbers at the Shrine Bowl combine earlier this year, recording a 4.59-second 40-yard dash, 4.43-second 20-yard shuttle, 35.8-inch vertical jump and 16 reps of 185 pounds.

As a junior, Ingram had a stellar season- recording 107 tackles, two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and four sacks. That production combined with some impressiver combine numbers has led to early offers from NC State, UNC, East Carolina and South Carolina. However, it's the Heels and Pack that lead the way currently.

"I like State and Carolina," said Melvin. "Those are my top two and they're dead even."

Ingram talked about what has helped establish those two schools as his front runners.

"With State, I like the coaches," he said. "The facilities are really nice. I got to see the practice field and the weight room and everything looks brand new. Coach Amato has been recruiting me for State and he's a great person and a great coach. They want me for outside linebacker.

"At Carolina, I like basically the same things with them that I do at NC State."

Ingram says that early playing time will be one of the major factors he considers when it comes time to settle on a final school. As for when that time will be, Ingram says he's yet to set a timetable for making a decision.

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