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Viral: 11-year-old gets DI football offer from Florida school

Viral: 11-year-old gets DI football offer from Florida school
Rudolph Ingram is nicknamed “Blaze” for his speed on the football field and out on the track. (Credit: Rudolph Blaze Ingram/Instagram)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (BVM) – Rudolph “Blaze” Ingram, an 11-year-old football and track star, has received his first Division I college football offer. The Tampa-area sixth grader won’t graduate high school until the Class Of 2029 rolls around. 

Aside from the fact that Ingram already has six-pack abs, the 11-year-old running back/wide receiver is going viral after receiving his first DI football offer from the Florida A&M Rattlers. 

“Proud to announce I’ve received my 1st college offer from [Florida A&M Rattlers Football] and [Devin Rispress, Director of Recruiting],” Ingram announced on social media in March.

“I’ve been talking with your dad, and like I said, I’ve been following you for a couple of years and you still got a long way to go,” Devin Rispress, the Director of Recruiting at Florida A&M told Ingram over the phone. “But you got good support and you’re definitely working. So, what I’m going to do is offer you at FAMU. Like I said, you’ve got a long way to go. Keep taking care of those grades, keep working the way you’re working and we’ll [see you] at the spring game (Orange and Green Game on April 15). 

Social media quickly erupted with a mix of both positive and negative reactions. Some believe it’s too early to put that level of pressure on someone who hasn’t even played a single snap of high school football yet. 

Here are the rules for recruiting that are specific to young football players, according to NCSA College Recruiting:  

“If the coach is truly interested in that recruit, they can extend a verbal scholarship offer. A verbal offer is a non-legally binding scholarship offer, and college coaches can extend verbal offers to a recruit of any age. It’s essentially a way for the coach to say, ‘I’m reserving a spot on my team for you.’ However, because verbal offers aren’t legally binding, coaches—and athletes—can back out of them at any point.” 

For Ingram, this is only just the beginning. The young athlete has been compared to the next Tyreek Hill and Usain Bolt for his speed and talent on the track and football field. When he was 7 years old, he was named the “fastest kid on the planet” after he ran the 100-meter in 13.48 seconds. Supposedly, he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.21 seconds. His football highlights have attracted the attention of professional stars including Lamar Jackson, DeSean Jackson and even LeBron James, too.  

“Ingram is a player you can line up at a number of different positions on offense, defense or special teams,” according to this statement posted about the 2022 AYF national championship top performers. “But wherever he is on the field, he’s a threat to make a game-changing play with his sizzling blur-like speed. His vision and instincts make him a dynamic return man and his hands are good enough for him to be a slot receiver at the next level. He’s a special talent with the ball in his hands. Some of his best plays were defensively from interceptions to pass break ups, even the game-saving tackles.” 

In terms of the 2023 track season, Ingram has already posted a time of 12.51 in the 100m. He’s previously spoken on the fact that he only runs track in order to get faster in football because he dreams of being the “No. 1 pick” in the NFL

Overall, the future looks bright for Ingram who might have programs like Alabama and Georgia calling in the years to come. It’ll be a long road to the NFL, but Ingram has already proven that he’s got what it takes. 

“I hope I live long enough to see Blaze in the NFL,” wrote one user on social media.  

[Read a previous story on Rudolph “Blaze” Ingram here]