When Maea Teuhema abruptly transferred out of the program at the beginning of the month, it left LSU in a major lurch along the offensive line. The transfer forced an already thin unit into immediately needing inexperienced players to see the field. Teuhema’s play often oscillated between dominance and lackadaisical effort, but he undoubtedly provided LSU a solid veteran presence with the capability to play both guard spots and right tackle. This proved exceptionally useful last year, when Jeff Grimes shuffled starting lineups more than Taylor Swift does love interests.
The 2017 starting LSU offensive line looked to be solidified with a core of veterans, though lacking experienced depth. Though Grimes reeled in an impressive class of four linemen, one of which transferred almost immediately after showing up, having those players factor into the starting lineup wasn’t on the road map. One month into fall camp and Grimes is already back doing a shuffling act, trying to find his best five.
It took only four weeks for Ed Ingram to make his climb up that depth chart.
Back of the Card
110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has "can’t miss" talent.
100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.
97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.
89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.
79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.
247 Composite Ranking: ****
247 Composite Rating: .9217
Ingram finished as the number 201st ranked prospect in the 247 Composite. He earned a selection to the Under Armour All-American game, where he stood up well in practice all week against top DTs, like LSU signee Tyler Shelvin and Alabama signee Phidarian Mathis.
Listed officially at 6’4”, 315 pounds, Ingram is college ready sized and looks it:
On the Field
Already There: Wide Body, Punch, Drive Blocker, Nasty Streak
Working On It: Technique, Feet
Doesn’t Have It: Elite Athleticism
Wide Body: The pics above should suffice, but you can tell right away on tape just how big Ingram is. He’s just a thickly built prospect with a body built for offensive line play.
Punch: My favorite trait in an OL is a guy who can knock your block off with his punch. Trai Turner remains my favorite HS OL I’ve ever studied because of the way he obliterated defenders at that level (it carried up to the next two levels as well). :10 I see the comp. Ingram just buries the defender with a nasty punch, even though the DT had better leverage. :20 again, yes its a double team, but watch the defender’s head snap back when Ingram pops him. :57 you can see it in action on a pull, where he absolutely smacks down a DE trying to stuff the hole.
Drive Blocker: Ingram is a powerful inside presence that can move defenders off the ball. When he gets into a defender like at :32, the defender will go backward. 1:17 you can see how easily he moves people off the LoS. Should make him a tremendous option to run behind in GL situations.
Nasty Streak: Kid plays mean. He likes punishing his opponents. At 1:07 he gets a free run at the MLB and the results are predictable. #Pray4ThatMLB. Time and again you see a kid that really finishes his blocks and leaves no doubt. It’s not just a run blocking thing, either. As you can see from the passing play at 1:53, his preferred location for defenders is on the ground on their back. And 2:37 is just more #PancakeCity.
Working On It
Technique: It’s inconsistent at this stage of his career. Ingram is not at all a technician. Power is his game and he’s going to need to refine the technical aspects of his play to really unlock his full potential. Some are simple adjustments that can be heavily tended to in just a few weeks in camp, like coming out of his stance low enough.
Feet: He’s no gazelle out there. There’s times Ingram looks really plodding and limited. But there are times where I’m impressed with how well he’s moving a 325 pound frame. At 3:00 he’s able to pull to get a kick-out block and looks good doing it. The next play at 3:11 is a really nice combo block where he initiates a double team then peels off and picks up a defender on the second level. These things give me hope that it’s there to be unlocked.
Doesn’t Have It
Elite Athleticism: Ingram isn’t going to set the 40 record for an OL in three or four years. I don’t see those LT type of athletic traits in his game. He’s an inside mauler and his athletic tools are power based. He may absolutely throw up 9,000 reps of 225.
Poseur’s 80s Movie Comparison
Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for Paul to use some variation of “he plays mean?” I’ve been waiting to deploy the greatest line in the 80s movie canon:
“All that hate is gonna burn you up, kid.”
“It keeps me warm.”
Boom. That’s right, we get to kill some dirty commies in this one because Ed Ingram is Red Dawn. And Red Dawn was f’n awesome.
Patrick Swayze at his peak levels of awesome. Yes, I’m aware of his other movies. Harry Dean Stanton. Jennifer Grey. Powers f’n Boothe. Lea Thompson. Charlie Sheen before he went off the deep end. Heck, even C. Thomas Howell was cool in this movie. Screw the Brat Pack. Did they ever help stop a joint Cuban/Russian invasion of Colorado? Didn’t think so.
What the Future Holds
Ingram is one of the least discussed members of the 2017 signing class. Despite holding a handful of offers from the likes of Texas, Alabama, Georgia and OU, Ingram pulled the trigger on LSU in April before his Senior season and never looked back. He took only one official visit... to LSU. Even amongst LSU fans, I think most expected Austin Deculus to come in and be the freshman lineman to play early.
Yet, here we are in game week and Ingram is probably slotted to start at right guard, beating out redshirt freshman Lloyd Cushenberry. I’d be remiss to not acknowledge a thin depth chart played a heavy role in his ability to land a starting position, but there’s no denying this portends well for his future. Ingram showed up to Baton Rouge in good shape, learned the offense and beat out both the players in his signing class and a couple already in the program.
It’s easy to see why. As a run blocker, he’s got a college ready game. I won’t at all be surprised if short-yardage running plays wind up going behind him as the season wears on. He’s just a true power blocking force up the middle. He’s the type of big-bodied punch the middle of the line lacked in the previous few seasons.
It will be interesting to see how he adapts to interior pass rushers with great quickness. He’s not the most nimble, but his wide frame enables him to absorb pass rushers. Playing between a veteran center and right tackle should really help aid his game in the early going.
Long term, he reminds me of a less athletic Trai Turner. He’s a powerful, devastating run blocker whose future lies on the interior.
High End: All-SEC caliber OL that becomes the team’s best run blocker before moving on to the NFL.
Low End: Struggles in his first season when being forced into a starting role and eventually loses his position to others and winds up as a career back-up, or transfer.
Realistic: Multi-year starter and dominant run blocker. I think he’s a bit one-dimensional, but he’ll be so superb in that dimension he can’t be overtaken by others.