South Carolina football fans remember the “good ole days” when the Gamecocks were among the country’s top programs, winning 11 games three seasons in a row from 2011-2013. One of the trademarks of those Steve Spurrier-led teams was a defensive unit that was loaded with NFL talent.
One of the most exciting players on those defenses was Melvin Ingram. Ingram played all over the Carolina D during his career, but he really flourished as a versatile pass rusher who lined up at both defensive tackle and defensive end during his final two years in Columbia.
Over those last two seasons in garnet and black, Ingram tallied 19 sacks and 26 more tackles for loss. He also became the only Gamecock defender to score three touchdowns in three weeks (two fumble recoveries and a long rushing touchdown on a fake punt). He was one of USC’s best players upfront when they won the SEC East in 2010, and he was an All-American in 2011.
It came as no surprise when Ingram was selected in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. As a combo defensive end and outside linebacker, he made three Pro Bowls in 9 seasons with the team and has played with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Miami Dolphins since leaving the Chargers.
After a subpar 2021, Ingram bounced back in 2022 with a nice season for Miami, but he has not played in 2023. That is about to change.
On Tuesday, Ingram worked out with the Dolphins, and, according to reports from Barry Jackson and Daniel Oyefusi of the Miami Herald, he impressed his former team enough to get a contract with the AFC East leaders.
Ingram will be on the Dolphins’ practice squad, but he has a chance to move his way up quickly to fill the spot recently vacated by the injured Jaelan Phillips who tore his Achilles.