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LUKE INGRAM


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Long-snapping has become a specialty for Ingrams

By Jason Kaneshiro

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:35 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2012


Anonymity is generally considered the most telling indication of a long snapper's effectiveness.

Luke Ingram, however, didn't really have that option available to him.

Ingram's older brother, Jake, preceded him as Hawaii's long snapper, earning accolades for his specialized skill that ultimately led to a call during the NFL Draft.

So when he joined the Warriors in 2009, Ingram had some built-in notoriety waiting for him.

"I think Hawaii has got to be the only school in the nation that gives so much love to their long snappers," Ingram said. "That's probably thanks to my brother and how successful he was here."

Since Week 2 of the 2005 season, the Ingram brothers have reliably handled long-snapping duties for the Warriors' punting and placekicking units, a span covering the past 92 games entering this season.

Just as when Jake Ingram entered the program as a walk-on defensive end, Luke harbored hopes of contributing on defense at some point in his college career when he graduated from Mililani. But it was made clear from the start he had a defined role on the team, and it's one he's embraced.

"I take pride in that," Ingram said. "I know my job here is to snap."

The streak was threatened last season when Ingram suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder during fall camp. He played through the injury, which cost him some power in his throwing arm.

"I think I gained a lot more technique because I had to compensate for that loss of strength, so I worked on my craft a lot more," he said.

The harder part came in holding his position in the middle of the line as a blocker or covering punts downfield.

"Any time I'd hit somebody I'd feel it really sharp," Ingram said. "It would dislocate a lot. Toward the end of the season it would come out two or three times a game. Playing through that was a little tough."

He had surgery the day after the team's banquet last December and sat out spring practice. Ingram said he's back to full strength, an assertion Scott Harding, the Warriors' new holder this season, can back up.

"At first it's a rude shock," Harding said of his initial attempt at catching one of Ingram's snaps. "You're not ready for how fast he throws it back because he's so strong and he gets some power behind it. … If you can catch it then you've actually got quite a bit of time to get it down because he's so fast."

Now that he's worked with Ingram through fall camp, Harding — also a wide receiver and punt returner — has developed a rhythm in fielding the snaps and placing it for kicker Tyler Hadden.

While he followed Jake as UH's long snapper, Luke said he was actually the first of the duo to take up the skill and there are subtle differences in their styles.

"Snapping the ball is kind of like swinging a baseball bat," he said. "There's certain techniques you can work on but everybody is a little different."

Jake's speed and consistency earned him a chance to play in the NFL and Luke is hoping for that opportunity as well after completing his career with the Warriors.

If he does get that chance, he hopes no one will know his name.

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