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All You Need to Know About Melvin Ingram

Posted Jul 11, 2014

Get ready for the 2014 season by learning all about Melvin Ingram.

Over the coming days, we’ll highlight a few notable Chargers with their 2014 Media Guide profile.  Up next is Melvin Ingram.

The 2013 season didn’t go quite as planned for Melvin Ingram, the Chargers’ top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Expected to be the team’s starter at outside linebacker, Ingram suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during an early offseason practice. Knowing the value he stood to bring to the team’s defense, the Chargers’ brass opted to place him on the “Physically Unable to Perform” list instead of the season-ending “Reserve-Injured” list. Ingram rewarded the Chargers for their faith. He was diligent in his rehabilitation and made a quick recovery, returning to the field in early December, just five months removed from the injury.

Ingram’s presence on the field helped boost the Chargers into the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Bolts went 4-0 down the stretch with Ingram back on the field and they won their first playoff game since the 2008 season. In that playoff victory, a wild card win in Cincinnati, Ingram was outstanding as he collected his first-career interception and led the team with four quarterback pressures.

Ingram’s marriage to the Chargers was a match that drew much excitement when he was still on the board when the Bolts held the 18th choice in the first round in 2012. Ingram had been a jack-of-all-trades at the South Carolina. As a rookie, he played in all 16 games, racking up 18 quarterback pressures, tied for second on the squad, while recording 12 special teams tackles, which tied for the team lead.

Once he arrived in San Diego, it didn’t take long to silence the naysayers about whether his reach would hinder his ability to make plays on the professional level. During the first quarter of his first NFL game, a preseason contest against the Green Bay Packers, Ingram pressured reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers into a hurried throw that was intercepted by one of Ingram’s teammates. It was a big moment against a quarterback who threw 45 touchdowns and only six interceptions the entire previous season and it would be a sign of things to come.

As a collegian, Ingram posted the fourth-most sacks in school history and the fifth-most tackles for loss on his way to being named just the third consensus first-team All-America in school history, and the first since 1984. He was a team captain as a senior and a key cog on a Gamecocks squad that ranked third in the nation in total defense and 11th in scoring defense. He was also part of a resurgence at South Carolina that peaked when the Gamecocks won a school-record 11 games in his final season, including a 30-13 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day.

For Ingram’s family back in Rockingham, North Carolina, his success was hardly a surprise. His father, George Melvin Ingram, Jr., predicted that his infant son would one day play in the NFL prior to his premature passing from a massive heart attack in 1998. Raised by his mom, Nancy, and two older sisters, Ingram became a cult hero in Rockingham where the football star and three-year starter at point guard for the school’s basketball team earned the nickname “SupaMelvin.”

So gifted is Ingram that he once walked out of a high school math class so he could go to the school’s gym to break the hang-clean record in his school clothes. After a brief warmup, he did so with a lift of 380 pounds, five more than the previous school record. And prior to the 2006 Shrine Bowl All-Star Game featuring the top high school seniors from North and South Carolina, Ingram threw the fastest pass during a pregame carnival, posting the fastest throws with both his left and right hands. In addition to his athletic feats, Ingram has no problem doing a standing back-flip, he can spin a football in his hand, he can dunk one over a crossbar, he can dunk a basketball with ease and he can throw a football more than 70 yards without taking a step.

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