Melvin Ingram said Wednesday he doesn’t feel like a celebrity even as a crew from NFL Films chronicled his every move at South Carolina’s pro day workouts.
“I am just like every other player out here,” Ingram said. “I am no higher and no lower.”
That’s not exactly true. Of the 15 former Gamecocks who worked for NFL talent evaluators at Williams-Brice Stadium, Ingram is the most highly regarded for his pro potential. The only South Carolina product who is considered a lock to be drafted in the first round, the former defensive end might be selected among the first 15 picks.
He already has become a star in the three months since his collegiate career ended with an All-America senior season. Ingram has appeared on a segment of ESPN’s Sports Science and on the nationally televised All-Star Football Challenge and will soon appear in a promotional spot for Gatorade “Everything to Prove” ad, which was being shot Wednesday by the NFL Films crew.
“My agents came to me with this stuff,” he said. “I like having fun. I like competing so it was a great experience for me.”
Ingram will soon be selling “SupaMelvin” T-shirts that display the nickname he has had since high school.
Ingram still doesn’t know if he will play defensive end or linebacker in the NFL. He admitted he was disappointed to see Mario Williams sign a free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills recently because the Bills draft No. 10 and were considering Ingram for that pick. Williams will now fill the role that Ingram could have in Buffalo.
“I can’t be mad at (Williams),” he said. “They gave him a lot of money.”
Ingram will attend the draft in New York in April so that he can walk onto the stage when he is selected, he said.
“I was just coming here (today) to erase all the doubt,” he said. “If anybody had any doubt I couldn’t do something, I just wanted to show them that I could. I feel like I came out here and had a productive day.”
MAKING UP GROUND
Defensive tackle Travian Robertson was unable to participate in position drills last month at the NFL Combine after pulling his groin during the event, so he put special emphasis on them Wednesday.
Robertson did not run the 40-yard dash Wednesday for fear of injuring his groin again. He ran a 5.1 40 at the combine, he said.
“I think I had a pretty good day today,” he said, adding he doesn’t know where or if he will be selected in the draft. “I have been hearing a lot of things. I have heard seventh round, free agent, fifth round, fourth round. Whatever team picks me up, I’ll be blessed. I just want to get in a camp and show a team I can play.”
Former cornerback Marty Markett may not have put together a standout career, but the York native showed the scouts some elite-level workout ability.
Although he made just seven starts in his two seasons of playing, the 5-foot-9, 172-pound Markett had a personal-best vertical jump of 40 1/2 inches and a broad jump of 10-feet, 10-inches, both highs for the USC players working out Wednesday. The vertical jump would have tied him for third overall if he had done it at the NFL Combine.
And he heard that his 40-yard dash time was as low as 4.28 and as high as 4.37, times that would have put him in the Top 5 at the combine.
“I feel like I did real good,” Markett said. “I’ve been working hard these last two months looking forward to this day. All the work I’ve been doing was showcased today.”
Although he played in only 24 games overall – and made 38 career tackles - he hopes that his solid spot play in 2011 and his strong numbers on pro day will compel an NFL team to give him a shot.
“My job is just to lay it all out on the line so everybody can see it. It’s up to them if they want to talk to me, or however it may work out,” he said.
Offensive lineman Terrence Campell performed 34 repetitions with a 225-pound bench press Wednesday. That number would have placed him second among offensive linemen at the NFL combine this year.
“The best advice that I probably didn't use was to stay calm and act like it's a regular practice. I can play in front of 85,000 people and not get nervous. I'm out here in front of maybe 150 people and 32 different teams. I started off really shaky.” -- Kyle Nunn, former USC offensive lineman