Junior to Watch: Cornelius Ingram
School: Hawthorne, Fla.
Size and speed: Ingram is 6-foot-5, weighs 215 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds.
Statistics: As a junior, he threw for 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for 600 yards and 14 scores. Also averages 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as one of the state’s top basketball prospects.
Honors: Was selected second-team all-state as a junior.
Favorite Schools: Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Central Florida.
Skinny: One of the early contenders for the coveted title as the Sunshine State’s top prospect is Hawthorne’s Cornelius Ingram. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound quarterback is one of the state’s elite players in both football and basketball, prompting a flood of letters from college scouts to his coaches’ offices.
When asked who’s been expressing interest in his star, Hawthorne coach Kent Johnson said: “Anyone and everyone. It would be easier to tell you who’s not, and there’s not many who aren’t on the list. He’s getting letters from all 50 states. I get coaches asking for film all day long. We’ve got more film sitting around here than you would believe. I talk to at least 30 coaches a week, and most of them are from the top programs in the country.”
So just what makes Ingram so special?
“He’s as physically talented a kid as I’ve seen in many, many years,” Johnson said. “If you look at him right now, it’s like a miniature Michael Vick, except he’s not left-handed. That’s what every coach winds up telling me.
“He’s a kid who is comfortable throwing the ball in the pocket. He can throw it 65 yards on the fly. He’s got great presence about him. He can sense pressure and get himself out of trouble when the protection breaks down. He’s such a big kid, he doesn’t mind running with it.
“But the one thing that I think he’s got as a plus for him is he’s extremely coachable and a real student of the game. He’s got a really good head on his shoulders. He carries a 2.8 GPA and he’s getting ready to take his ACT in May. I think he’ll be qualified without any problem. I just can’t say enough about Cornelius.”
Teams showing the most interest in Ingram to date include: Florida, Florida State, Miami, Central Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Georgia Tech.
“Florida wants him real bad,” Johnson said. “We’re in their backyard, the same county here, so they’ve been courting him for a long, long time. They’d like him in both sports. I know (Gators basketball coach) Billy Donovan has been to a bunch of our games this year.
“But Cornelius isn’t really tipping his hand on favorites yet. I know he likes Florida, but he’s telling me he likes all of these schools. I don’t think he’s the type to single anyone out until it’s time to make that decision.”
Johnson noted that basketball will be part of the equation when it comes time for Ingram to sign.
"Cornelius is making it clear he wants to try and play both sports," he said. "It may be a situation where he plays both, finds out where he's better suited, and commits to one or the other, but as of now he wants to play both."
Ingram plans to attend the Nike camp at Florida. His summer plans include FSU’s camp and “maybe a couple of others,” according to Johnson. “He hasn’t made up his mind yet.”