The Recruiting Guy:

Highly successful Memphis coach raves about Kenny Ingram

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, February 15, 2019
Arkansas football helmets sit atop storage bins during a game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas football helmets sit atop storage bins during a game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Fayetteville.

The expected hiring of Kenny Ingram as Arkansas' defensive line coach got a thumbs up from one highly regarded Memphis high school coach.

A Memphis native, Ingram was a standout at Memphis Whitehaven High School. He graduated from Arkansas State, where he was a four-year letterman (1989-92) and the team co-captain in 1992.

Rodney Saulsberry has been the Memphis Whitehaven coach since 2004. He led the Tigers to an 11-4 record and Class 6A runner-up finish this past season, and calls Ingram a "great hire."

"Especially if they are treating Memphis like it's in-state recruiting," Saulsberry said. "Excellent on the field coach, but dynamic recruiter."

Ingram was a three-time Regional Coach of the Year and the Commercial Appeal's 2004 Coach of the Year for Metro Memphis, he was selected to serve as the Liberty Bowl All-Star Game defensive coordinator in 2003 and was a member of the Tennessee East-West Shrine All-Star Game coaching staff that same season.

Ingram has been an assistant coach at Memphis from 2006-09, and had on-field coaching jobs at Arkansas State in 2012 and Cincinnati in 2015-16. He returned to Auburn, where he previously worked two seasons, after a head coaching change at Cincinnati.

Whitehaven has several Division I prospects, including Arkansas linebacker targets Martavius French and Bryson Eason. Saulsberry said Ingram recruited the area well in the past.

"When at Memphis, Tennessee State and Cincinnati, he was very influential to their recruiting success in Memphis." Saulsberry said. "He does a great job building relationships. Kenny is well known throughout the city as a star player at Whitehaven, superb high school coach at Melrose (High School) and as a straight shooter college recruiter."

Ingram and Saulsberry have known one another for several years.

"I've known coach Ingram since high school, although he graduated prior to me arriving at Whitehaven," Saulsberry said. "He's from the class of 1988 and I'm from the class of 1991."

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