Ingram to the Chargers

James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

South Carolina DE/LB Melvin Ingram was drafted No. 18 overall by the San Diego Chargers in round one of the 2012 NFL Draft Thursday Night. Ingram is the second Gamecock player to be drafted in this year's draft.

Ingram, a versatile 6-1 1/2, 265-pounder from Hamlet, N.C., was the most decorated Gamecock in 2011. He became just the third consensus All-American at South Carolina, joining George Rogers (1980) and Del Wilkes (1984). A team captain, Ingram earned first-team All-America honors by Associated Press, AFCA, Walter Camp, Sporting News, SI.com, ESPN.com, Rivals.com, CBSSports.com and Pro Football Weekly, and was a unanimous first-team All-SEC selection. He was invited to the Senior Bowl following a season in which he tied the school's single-season record for sacks with 10.0 and scored three touchdowns, including a 68-yard run on a fake punt in the win at Georgia. He was a three-time SEC Player-of-the-Week recipient in 2011.

Gilmore and Ingram become the 10th and 11th Gamecock players to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and the first since 2006. They join a list that includes: Johnathan Joseph (2006, 24th to Cincinnati), Troy Williamson (2005, seventh to Minnesota), Dunta Robinson (2004, 10th to Houston), John Abraham (2000, 13th to the New York Jets), Ernest Dye (1993, 18th to Phoenix), Sterling Sharpe (1988, seventh to Green Bay), George Rogers (1981, first to New Orleans), Willie Scott (1981, 14th to Kansas City) and Rick Sanford (1979, 25th to New England).

At least one South Carolina Gamecock has been selected in the NFL Draft in 11 consecutive years.

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