“He’s a gifted athlete and he understands the game,” Mooresville head coach Hal Capps said. “He really has a great knowledge of the game of football… He’s a great young man. Six-foot/6-1 corners are hard to find, plus he plays like he’s 6-3 with his long arms.”
A random – and sudden - moment put Ingram in position to start every game for Mooresville since his freshman year. After starring at running back in middle school, Ingram was pressed to play cornerback during his first high school seven-on-seven tournament.
“One of my corners caught a cramp and I said, ‘Chris, you’ve got to go in,’” Capps said. “He said, ‘I’m a running back.’ I said, ‘Go play corner.’”
Ingram went on to intercept two passes. If that wasn’t enough, during a three-day FCA seven-on-seven camp, he intercepted 13 passes in 11 contests.
“When I was first put out there, I just said to myself, ‘Compete and don’t get beat,’” Ingram said with a laugh. “Growing up, I would always play with my older brother, who is seven years older than me. Him and his friends were obviously faster than me, so I would always think of ways to work around the lack of speed. So I would be more physical with them. I used that mentality in high school at a new position.”
During his freshman season, Ingram compiled more than 40 tackles, three interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
This past season – his second – Ingram was tested a lot less but still managed to collect 33 tackles, three interceptions, five pass break ups, and returned a punt for a score.
A year ago, East Carolina and NC State extended Ingram scholarship offers. His offer total doubled recently with the additions of Clemson and North Carolina.
Tray Scott’s evaluation visit last week got the ball rolling on Ingram’s UNC offer. After Scott departed, Ingram gave the Tar Heels’ newest assistant coach a call.
“He said he liked my film,” Ingram said. “He really wanted me to come up there for camp. He said we’ll keep in touch.”
To Ingram’s surprise, Capps instructed Ingram to call Scott again the very next day.
“[Scott] said he really liked me and he wanted to offer me the day he came to my school, but he wanted to talk to the defensive coordinator and also the head coach and DBs coach,” Ingram said. “And then he officially offered me a scholarship.”
Ingram was born in Salisbury, but spent three years in Chapel Hill before moving to Mooresville. Also, his mother works for the UNC Hospitals and is a Tar Heel fan. Lastly, Ingram himself is a UNC fan.
“That offer means a lot,” Ingram said. “It’s really a dream come true, because I don’t have to worry about whether they are going to offer me. It’s humbling and makes me want to work harder.”
In addition to his offering schools, Michigan and Tennessee have also visited Mooresville to evaluate Ingram.
When asked about favorite schools, a concealing smile creeps onto Ingram’s face. But his response remains diplomatic.
“All of them are at the top,” Ingram said. “I have four leaders – NC State, ECU, Clemson, and North Carolina. And I have one other school that I hope would offer – Georgia. I really don’t have a No. 1 school, right now.”
Despite his connections to UNC, Ingram has yet to make a recruiting visit to the school. He has attended games at Georgia and NC State, and even a spring game at East Carolina.
“I plan on going to a camp at Carolina and a football game this fall,” Ingram said.
Ingram also plays basketball for Mooresville. He ran track as a freshman, but elected to use this spring on football preparation.