SUAMICO – Former Bay Port alumnus Alec Ingold is looking for a much larger role with the UW-Madison football team this season.
Ingold, a 2015 Bay Port graduate, has played rather sparingly in the back field in his three years with the Badgers because of the tremendous talent that’s played in front of him, but he’s hoping that will change this year.
The No. 7-ranked Badgers will open up the 2018 season by hosting Western Kentucky Aug. 31 at Camp Randall Stadium.
“The baseline for me this year was to at least be the lead blocker and fullback,” said the 6-foot-2, 232-pound Ingold in a recent phone interview. “But with the way our team is shaping up and how great we can be, I’m really pushing myself to try and learn some tight end stuff and maybe be a third-down running back. There are a lot more roles that are going to be open for me hopefully this year to see the field in different situations where it’s not just a normal down-and-distance fullback situation. I’m hoping to be on the field as much as possible.”
Ingold, a finance major, took three classes this summer but also found plenty of time to train and work out.
He is scheduled to graduate this December and takes pride in the fact that he has been academic all-Big Ten for the past two years.
“From late May through the summer, it was pretty much just like the school year would be for me,” Ingold said. “The only difference is that it’s a little more relaxed and not having to worry about watching so much film.”
Ingold was originally slotted as a linebacker when we first arrived at Madison in 2015, but there’s a funny story with his switch to running back.
“My first camp there I was just trying to keep my head above water, learn the whole defense and literally learn how to play linebacker since I had never done it before,” he said. “It just so happened that a couple of guys got injured, I made a couple of plays early in camp and I ended up taking first-team reps – it was pretty crazy. Eventually, they were going to redshirt me and I thought that was fair enough. The very first week of my first year, we played Alabama and I won the scout team player of the week. The very next day I was switched to running back and played in week three against Hawaii.”
That first game at running back for Ingold against the Rainbows was actually his career best so far, where he rushed for 60 yards on seven carries. He has 14 career touchdowns, six of which came during his freshman year.
As for his plans after UW, Ingold is keeping his options open.
“Mentally I have to attack it like I’m going to the NFL and that’s the way to go,” he said. “I think a big difference this year compared to any other year is that childhood dream is becoming a reality. Like other members of the team, the coaches are talking to us about who wants to get represented by agents down the road and they are getting us ready for that. Sitting in on those meetings has really been eye-opening to see how close this is to happening. I really have to be focusing on being as good and helpful as I can for this team and taking advantage of my opportunities, all while being a good teammate and hopefully opening some eyes at the next level.”
Ingold will always be remembered as being one of the greatest Bay Port players in the history of the school, being named the 2014 Associated Press Wisconsin Player of the Year after he rushed for 2,324 yards and scored 29 touchdowns from his quarterback position.
He also completed over 61 percent of his passes for 1,411 yards and tossed 15 TDs.
Though he had an outstanding senior season and career, he left Bay Port thinking “what if?”
“We made it to the (WIAA D1) state semifinals that year, but I messed up my Achilles (tendon) pretty bad the week before that game,” Ingold said. “I was cleared to play, but I didn’t get to practice all that week – it was definitely bittersweet for the last game. I still think about it and how frustrated I was. I only had a few rushes that game, but there were some holes I could see in the defense and I just couldn’t get there. My acceleration wasn’t there.”
As good as Ingold has been on the gridiron, he could have wrestled in college as well.
He won the 2015 D1 state wrestling title in the 220-pound division after going 45-0.
“A few colleges had called me about wrestling in college, but my dad and I talked and he pretty much suggested that if I had the opportunity to play college football, I should go that route,” said Ingold. “He didn’t want me to give up the opportunities down the road from playing football.”
Ingold said that his wrestling background has helped him immensely in football with his leverage points, staying low and the mental side of it – noting that his high school wrestling practices were some of the toughest things he’s ever gone through.
Ingold is playing at a high level at a Big Ten school, has scored touchdowns on national TV, but that wrestling state championship ranks right up there with his greatest moments ever.