Defensive end Melvin Ingram and safety Antonio Allen will represent the Gamecocks in the 2012 Senior Bowl.
Ingram and Allen both officially accepted invitations to the senior showcase event, it was announced Friday. The 2012 Senior Bowl is set for 4 p.m. Jan. 28 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The game and all practices will be televised live by NFL Network.
Theres no question Melvin and Antonio both played a key role in South Carolinas record-breaking season, Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said in a news release. Were thrilled that theyve chosen to compete against the nations top seniors and look forward to watching them maximize their value for the upcoming NFL draft.
Ingram was a first team All-America selection by the AFCA and Walter Camp in 2011 and first team All- SEC honoree by both the Associated Press and league coaches. The 6-2, 276 pound defensive end tied a single-season school record with 10 sacks in 2011. He added 48 total tackles, including 15 tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries, two pass breakups, one fumble recovery and two interceptions. He also scored three touchdowns on the season, two of which came in the Gamecocks win over Georgiaa 68-yard fake punt and a 5-yard fumble return.
I feel like its going to be a wonderful experience just to showcase what I can do and get good work in against other good players, Ingram said.
For his career, Ingram finished fourth on South Carolinas all-time list with 21.5 sacks and fifth in tackles for loss with 30.5. He tallied 109 total tackles and played in 52 career games, making 14 starts. He was also instrumental in helping the Gamecocks to the schools first ever 11-win season, a feat they recently accomplished after their bowl victory over Nebraska.
We closed out the season on a good note, we could not ask for a better way to go out, so just to wear that helmet one more time is going to be an honor, Ingram added.
Allen was a second team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press this season and the only player in the league to rank in the top ten in tackles (88), interceptions (3), forced fumbles (4), and fumble recoveries (3). He added 9.5 tackles for loss and one sack on the season. His 88 tackles were tops on the team and he was a part of a defensive unit that ranked second in the SEC in passing defense this season.
A native of Ocala, Fla., Allen wrapped up his career with 198 total tackles, including 20 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four interceptions, eight pass breakups, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He made 31 career starts for the Gamecocks and appeared in 40 games.