“I think you’ll see the big jump from a physical development once Yancy [McKnight] gets his hands on him for nine months.”
The comment from Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman about running Keaontay Ingram back in October is already coming to fruition with the sophomore adding 12 to 14 pounds of muscle since the Sugar Bowl victory.
“Good weight is padding for your body, right? It’s protection, it’s armor, especially for your joints,” Herman said.
Last season, Ingram got banged up early in the season that the staff became extra cautious with his workload, especially after serving as the feature back for Carthage teams that went so deep into the playoffs that he added the equivalent of two extra high school football seasons to his prep career.
“It was a big deal,” Herman said of those concerns.
Now Ingram has gained the confidence that comes with his increased mass — not only does he have that extra padding for his joints, he’s also more capable of breaking tackles as he plays with more confidence in general.
The other aspect of Ingram’s offseason plan? To improve as a running back, as Ingram often left yardage on the field last season. Through four spring practices, Herman believes that he’s making progress there as well.
“He’s seeing plays develop a little bit better,” Herman said. “He’s got more patience and vision.”
So it sounds like the time that Ingram has spent with running backs coach Stan Drayton, who was credited by Ezekiel Elliott for spurring his incredible development, has been just as impactful as working with the program’s heralded strength and conditioning coach.
Ingram’s fluid hips and Jamaal Charles-like slide cut immediately flashed as a freshman. If Herman is correct about the Carthage product taking the next step in processing the game, then Ingram’s added mass is going to make him extremely dangerous this season.