Ingram is a Longhorn

Keaontay Ingram. (Justin Wells/IT)

Keaontay Ingram. (Justin Wells/IT)

CARTHAGE — The state’s top RB, Keaontay Ingram wanted to play for the best.

So he committed to Texas today.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound tailback from East Texas chose UT over LSU, A&M, OU, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Ingram told me recently UT RB coach Stan Drayton and the tradition were the reasons he named Texas his leader last month. But mainly…

“Because it’s home,” Ingram told me today, on why he chose the Longhorns.

Excerpts from the Recruiting Notebook:

Keaontay Ingram, Carthage – RB (2018)

How he fits at Texas: Running back is obviously a very important position in the Herman offense given the major emphasis on the downhill run game in the system. Ingram’s fit in Herman’s favorite run schemes is an easy one thanks to a few elite attributes he has as a back. His ability to make explosive lateral cuts while keeping his shoulders square to the line combined with a brilliant first step make him absolutely deadly in a variety of different schemes. Most of his highlights feature Ingram making a key cut to set up a defender to make a false step and then effortlessly bursting through the resulting crease. In other words, he’s often helping his blockers as much as they’re helping him. I’m not sure if he has elite top end speed but he definitely has enough to make it hurt when he finds open grass. He’s well versed in playing behind lead blocks in Carthage’s pro-style offense and also gets a lot of action in screens and assisting in pass protection so he’s likely to end up a very well-rounded, three-down player in the future. – IB

Coach says: The depth in state isn’t great at the running back position, but after absolutely shredding during the playoffs this past season, Ingram left little doubt that he is a stud. He’s smooth as a runner, has good vision and patience, good burst through the hole, has some wiggle and the ability to make guys miss, and he is effective out of the back field as a pass catcher. He also flashes a nice stiff arm to keep defenders off of him. If you are looking for a negative, he doesn’t possess great straight line speed, but he makes up for that with his lateral agility. You see a ton of zone on his cutups and I think that fits his game best. If you’re only taking one back in this class, I would have no issue with Ingram being the pick if I was Texas.

How this affects Texas: Herman and RB coach Stan Drayton are handling this perfectly. Ingram is in no hurry to commit. Heck, he never thought he’d get the attention he’s gotten ever since his Bulldogs clinched the 4A D2 state title in December. Schools he likes are Texas, LSU, A&M, and TCU at the moment. One source says A&M leads. Another says UT. All I know is that Drayton has made one hell of an impression on the state’s top RB and his recruitment has just begun. – JW

Ingram becomes the 9th member of Texas’ 2018 class joining Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele), Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis), Ron Tatum (Putnam City, OK), Reese Moore (Seminole), Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, CA), Casey Thompson (Southmoore, OK), Byron Hobbs (FW Eastern Hills), and Justin Watkins (Ocala [FL] Vanguard).