Cornelius Ingram didn't play a single down for the University of Florida's national champion football team last season, but when it came time to visit President Barack Obama at the White House last month, the players and coaches felt as though the Eagles' rookie tight end was the best man to present a football and jersey to the commander in chief.
"No one even batted an eye when that decision was made," Florida coach Urban Meyer said earlier today during a phone interview. "Everybody was thinking it might be (Tim) Tebow or (Brandon) Spikes, but C.I. was so respected among the players that everybody was fine with that."
Ingram missed his senior season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during a summer practice and spent the entire season rehabilitating from his injury. He said he was honored that he still got to make the presentation to the president.
"That was the best experience I ever had," Ingram said. "Sorry to say, I almost forgot his name was up there because I was so nervous. My hands went to sweating and I had to present him with the football as well as the jersey. As soon as I got finished, my mom called me and she was so happy. I said, 'Mom, the whole time he was talking I was so nervous that the only thing I kept thinking was don't let this football slip on the stage.' I snugged it to my body. It was definitely a great experience ... the best experience I ever had."