Keaontay Ingram explains how Lincoln Riley almost persuaded him to come back to USC

Nov 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Keaontay Ingram, USC Football
Nov 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Keaontay Ingram, USC Football / Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

2021 USC football running back Keaontay Ingram is over at the NFL Scouting Combine, and actually revealed that he almost came back to USC once Lincoln Riley was hired. Not only that, but he even revealed the specifics of WHY he was so excited, beyond the obvious reasons:

Ingram would be absolutely insane as a workhorse back. Last season--Ingram's only season for USC, as he transferred here after a few seasons at Texas--he averaged 5.8 yards per carry. He had 911 yards, and I can't even imagine just how many he would have had if he was allowed to be a lead dog, and THE lead dog.

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Riley knows Ingram real well, as he competed against him at Oklahoma for the three seasons Ingram was at Texas (2018-2020). The four-star back out of high school was the No. 6 RB recruit in the country, and the No. 15 overall player in Texas (247Sports). Riley knew Ingram would be elite as a workhorse, and Ingram knew it too. It just wasn't as good of timing as the two would have hoped, as Ingram further explained:

Keaontay Ingram was outstanding for USC football last year.

All USC football fans will remember Keaontay Ingram as a bright spot in what was a very disappointing season for nearly everyone else around him. Ingram put his head down and worked hard, even contributing in the passing game too. He added 22 catches and 154 receiving yards to his 2021 stat line.

Ingram had a lot of doubters after he lost his starting spot to Bijan Robinson at Texas after he had an injury-ravaged season in 2020. Many wondered what USC would be getting after they claimed he couldn't get it done at Texas. Savvy college football fans knew, however, that Ingram deserved better at UT.

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Since Ingram became a Trojan, he put some great film together and is giving himself a chance to have a good day on Draft Day. The combine will be important to him, and so will USC's eventual Pro Day later this month. Ingram would have been dangerous in Riley's offensive system, but he knew it was best for him to go ahead and look to make his money right now.