Ingram staying for senior season


Cornelius Ingram was projected to be drafted in the third round of the NFL draft.

The Gainesville Sun
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 2:21 p.m.

Florida wide receiver Cornelius Ingram has decided to return for his senior season. The former Hawthorne star reached a decision Wednesday, according to his brother, Greg Bowie.

"I think it's the best decision for him and I'm happy for what he wants to do," said Bowie, the basketball coach at Hawthorne High. "I think he just wants to work on a few more things and he wants that degree."

Bowie said Ingram is only seven hours shy of graduating.

Last Friday, Yahoo.com reported that Ingram had decided to forego his senior season to enter the NFL draft, even quoting Ingram. But Bowie said his brother had not made up his mind yet and was "sort of torn" on what to do.

Ingram did not return phone calls Wednesday night.

Ingram made the decision to stay at Florida after talks with his family and the UF coaching staff over the past few days, Bowie said.

"I think he's going to be a little more involved in the offense," Bowie said. "He's going to work on some things and put on a couple of more pounds. Whether he catches 40 or 50 passes next season, he's going to have to go to the NFL Combine and perform."

The NFL Draft Advisory Committee had projected that Ingram likely would have been a third-round draft pick if he entered the draft this spring.

Ingram initially said he would leave if he was projected to go in the top three rounds, but now he's decided to stay.

At 6-4, 230 pounds, Ingram is considered undersized for a tight end in the NFL and probably not quick enough to be an every-down wide receiver.

Bowie said Ingram plans to work on his strength and speed over the next year, which could give him a boost heading into next year's NFL Combine.

Ingram, who made the move from quarterback to wide receiver after the 2005 season, caught 33 passes for 401 yards and seven touchdowns this season. As a sophomore in 2006, he had 30 receptions for 380 yards and one touchdown in helping lead the Gators to the national title.

With Ingram returning, the Gators will have to replace only one player (wide receiver Andre Caldwell) at the offensive skill positions.

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