When Florida Tech’s Mark Ingram becomes the face of the ACC: ‘We’ve been waiting for this’
Florida Tech has had its fair share of moments over the past decade where the Seminoles have been overlooked or underestimated, but that didn’t stop the school from signing one of the best college football players in recent memory.
The Hurricanes were also one of two schools to receive a bid for the 2024 Olympics, while Florida was also one team that could use a quarterback.
Mark Ingram became the face and voice of the league when he joined the Hurricanes as a walk-on, but after two years he has become a national sensation.
The Florida native went from a guy that was getting overlooked in the preseason to one of college football’s most sought after players in just over a year.
Ingram was named the ACC Player of the Year, a team that had the No. 3 offense in the country and was considered one of its better defenses.
And while the team struggled at times, Ingram’s ability to put the ball in the air and get it on the ground was enough to earn him a national title.
Ingram’s journey has taken him from a walk on to a starting quarterback, but he’s had to overcome adversity as well.
“I’ve been through a lot of stuff in my life,” Ingram said.
“Being on the road, being in situations where I was not as welcomed as I wanted to be.
The road is littered with adversity. “
And then you get on that road to becoming a college football player, and the next thing you know, I’m sitting there with my name on the back of my jersey.”
The road is littered with adversity.
The Seminoles were one of three teams to lose in the ACC Championship Game to Clemson in 2014.
After finishing in last place in the Atlantic Division in 2016, they missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.
But Ingram and his teammates still managed to get to the Final Four in 2017.
After missing out on a spot in the national title game in 2018, the Hurricanes were one spot above Florida in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The 2017 ACC championship game was a big turning point in Ingram’s life.
He started his career at Clemson and had a great rookie season.
But in his sophomore season, Ingram struggled with injuries and his mobility began to regress.
That didn’t help his case for the starting job in 2018.
In 2019, Ingram was signed to a two-year deal that guaranteed him $12 million.
He struggled to adjust to the pace of the game, and he struggled to find his way in the offense.
“That was the first year when I was on the wrong side of the ball, where I wasn’t getting touches,” Ingram told Bleacher report.
“We went through a few injuries, and it was just a time of transition.
I’m sure that’s why I had to take it one step at a time.” “
When you’re playing with the first-team offense, you’re always going to be challenged.
I’m sure that’s why I had to take it one step at a time.”
The 2017 season was the last full year of Ingram’s contract.
He was released after the regular season and signed a two year deal with the Cleveland Browns.
He would sign a two and a half year deal the next offseason, but his future with the program was in doubt.
After the 2017 season, he was cut by Cleveland and signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent.
He played for the Bills from 2018-20, helping the team win the 2017 AFC North title.
But after signing with the New York Jets, Ingram wasn’t able to find a team.
He made his debut with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 and never really looked back.
But that was only a one-year stretch, as Ingram played only eight games in 2018 before being cut.
“It’s hard when you get cut and you’re like, ‘I want to be back,'” Ingram said of the uncertainty.
“But at the same time, the more you do it the more it motivates you.
It motivates me.”
But his career in the NFL is a different story.
Ingram started his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins in 2015, but was released in 2018 after only three games.
He spent one season with the Buffalo Wild Wings before joining the Carolina Panthers in 2019.
Ingram went on to make his first Pro Bowl, starting the 2017 NFL season as the team’s starting quarterback.
He then helped the Panthers win the Super Bowl in 2019 before being released the following year.
“The way the NFL works, it’s like a team,” Ingram explained.
“You have to go in with that mindset, and you have to understand the position that you’re in.
You can’t go in and say, ‘Well, this is what I’m doing now.’
That’s just not realistic.”
After a brief stint in Jacksonville, Ingram signed with the Tennessee Titans as an unrestricted free agent, but a knee injury sidelined him