Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Cornelius Ingram as a Florida Gator

The late-round pick many Eagles fans are most excited about is tight end Cornelius Ingram.

Cornelius Ingram as a Florida Gator

The Eagles selected Florida tight end Cornelius Ingram in the fifth round of April´s draft. (AP / File photo)
The Eagles selected Florida tight end Cornelius Ingram in the fifth round of April's draft. (AP / File photo)

The late-round pick many Eagles fans are most excited about is tight end Cornelius Ingram.

The Eagles selected the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder in the fifth round of April's draft.

By all accounts, Ingram looked good in the team's first minicamp, and he said during a radio interview that he's planning on joining Donovan McNabb in Arizona for offseason workouts.

After suffering a torn ACL during August workouts, Ingram missed all of his senior season at Florida.

He was recruited as a quarterback and also played for the Gators' hoops team in 2004-05.

To get a better idea on what Ingram was like during his time in Gainesville, we called on Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel.

Q: What was the most impressive thing about Ingram at Florida?

A: His athleticism. He’s like a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. Moves like a wide receiver, catches like a wide receiver.

Q: What aspect of his game do you think he’ll need to focus on improving in the NFL?

A: Blocking and durability. Teams passed on Ingram in the draft because of that torn ACL and unproven ability to block like a natural NFL tight end, like a sixth offensive lineman. Ingram has the body (6-foot-4, 245 pounds) to block, and his knee should recover smoothly. But he must prove it in camp.

Q: I read that he wanted to quit after the 2005 season. Is that true, and what has he said about that rough stretch at Florida?

A: Ingram thought about quitting because he wanted to be the Florida quarterback. Chris Leak was the Florida quarterback. Tim Tebow was to follow. He had a tough decision to make. Was it worth it to him to move positions? Unfortunately, I didn't cover the team at the time so I don't have more details on what he said.

Q: What was Ingram’s reaction to switching to tight end?

A: A little reluctant at first, but he sunk his teeth into it because coaches convinced him he had natural ability and could thrive in Urban Meyer’s spread offense. Those coaches were right.

Q: What was Ingram’s personality like? Did he have a good relationship with the media, coaches and teammates?

A: Ingram was absolutely beloved by teammates. Florida practically dedicated the 2008 national title to him because he was so likable. He was very easy to deal with in the media. Very well-spoken.

Editor's note: More on this below

Q: What was Ingram’s standout moment at Florida?

A: CI never had any game-winning touchdown catches, but he was clutch in some pretty big wins – four catches for 58 yards in the 2006 title game against Ohio State, five catches for 75 yards against Florida State in 2007.

***

Jeremy talked about Ingram being beloved by teammates so I dug up some quotes from them after Ingram tore his ACL.

Said Louis Murphy, per the Miami Herald: "It hurts really bad. My heart really goes out to him and his family. I'm going to dedicate this season to him and (Dorian Munroe).

"It's going to hurt a lot losing his leadership and hard work, and I don't mean just not playing out there with him -- when he goes hard, everybody else goes hard. Nobody can be CI, but we have other players that can step up and make plays. There's not going to be another CI. He's still going to be successful in life and he's still going to get drafted."

Said tight end Aaron Hernandez, per the Palm Beach Post: "(Ingram) helped me a lot to get where I am right now. It's going to hurt us a lot. He's a great friend of mine, and I love him a lot."

Said coach Urban Meyer: "He was a real popular guy, and (the teammates) took it real hard."

***

Below is a highlight video of the Eagles' fifth-round picks (starting with Ingram) that I found on YouTube.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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