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They Report, You Decide: Is CI playing vs. Oklahoma?

When Cornelius Ingram injured his ACL in preseason, everyone thought the man from Hawthorne was done for the season. But, CI has made a tremendous recovery and will be wearing a uniform Thursday. The question is; will be also be in pads? Well, that is up for debate.

From First Coast News...

For the record there is some talk about Ingram perhaps getting in for a snap at game's end if UF is winning. "That's a play called victory formation, and I'd love to be a part of it."

From longtime Gator scribe Buddy Martin...

There have been all sorts of rumors about injured tight end Cornelius Ingram dressing for Thursday night’s BCS Championship Game, but new information has come out. We are hearing that he will not only dress, but will be on the field as one of the captains – and may even get into the game for one play. Every time that C. I. appearance has been brought up lately, Meyer has pooh-pooed the idea, saying the trainers and doctors would have the final say.

The Gainesville Sun, like Martin, asked if CI would be available in a motivational role...

Even though he has been doing some running during bowl practices, he will not play in Thursday's game.

When asked if Ingram could pull a Willis Reed and take the field for the first play to inspire his teammates, Meyer said, "Who's Willis Reed? I live a sheltered life."

If CI is healthy enough to be running and cutting since the SEC Championship (reports had him playing shirts/skins at the Georgia Dome), he's healthy enough to play against Oklahoma. Keeping him out though avoids any complications. He can't get hurt on the sidelines and Florida won't have to worry about shuffling him with Aaron Hernandez and Tate Casey.

Meyer has said since December that CI is out. So why didn't he just say that? Is it a poker face? Besides, the Wills Reed line might be a clue. As a master motivator, you know Urban knows who Reed is. For those of you who don't; Reed was the New York Knicks' captain and center during the early 1970s. In the 1970 NBA Finals against Wilt Chamberlain and the LA Lakers, Reed tore his thigh muscle in Game 5. The Knicks won that game but lost Game 6 in LA. Before Game 7, most believed Reed would not play.

Reed only scored twice, but the two buckets whipped the crowd into a frenzy and psyched out the Lakers. Walt Frazier led the scoring and the Knicks won their first NBA title.

CI won't come limping out of the locker room, but the presence of someone who sacrificed so much to play for UF would be an inspiration. This is a kid who came to Florida to play QB and forward. He quit basketball to become a full time tight end. After backing away from the draft, he gets hurt in training camp. CI will graduate and will be drafted in the NFL too. Not bad for a kid who almost transfered.

I want to see CI play because he is one of the most impressive athletes I have ever seen (Simeon Rice is the other). He is a physical freak that could have been an NBA player too. If he catches one ball Thursday, the place will explode.

But, what do you think; should CI play?