Former Wisconsin FB Alec Ingold returns to Green Bay as an Oakland Raider
In the past two weeks, fullback Alec Ingold has journeyed back to the state of Wisconsin twice.
This weekend, however, it is a business trip.
The former Wisconsin Badgers fullback took in UW’s homecoming win against Michigan State inside Camp Randall Stadium on Oct. 12. This Sunday, he returns to his hometown as a member of the Oakland Raiders (3-2) when they face the Green Bay Packers (5-1) at Lambeau Field.
Being so tied into his week-by-week responsibilities, Ingold he admitted this game has “kind of always been off in the distance for me.”
“It’s definitely a big deal for me, don’t get me wrong, but it’s something where I know my job is a lot more important,” Ingold told BadgerBlitz.com on Thursday. “I’m going there to do a job and to improve as a football player and help a team win. That’s definitely in the forefront my mind right now and kind of always has been.”
A former Badger who played in 51 games (11 starts), Ingold scored 21 collegiate touchdowns on 117 times he touched the ball (103 carries, 14 receptions). That averages out as a score every 5.6 times he got the opportunity to have the rock in his hands.
Prior to his days in cardinal and white, Ingold claimed the 2014 Gatorade state player of the year award and all-state honors as a quarterback for Bay Port High School in Green Bay. In his time as a Pirate, he finished his career with 89 total touchdowns (61 rushing, 28 passing) along with being a four-year varsity letter winner in wrestling.
Returning to his hometown, Ingold admitted he does not know how many friends and family will be packing Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s going to be a ton, so it’ll be fun to see a lot of silver and black in the stands, hopefully,” Ingold said.
After his time in Madison, Ingold participated in the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He went undrafted but found a home with the Raiders as a free agent. Ingold worked his way onto the AFC West franchise’s roster and is an active member of the team’s offense.
“I think just taking it day-by-day and really just trying to be my best self was huge,” Ingold said about his mindset to help him solidify his spot on the team. “I was competing with myself every day to be as good of a teammate and player as I could be and don’t really pick your head up until it’s over. Just working hard and day by day just trying to give your best effort really can go a long way.”
Ingold is part of a Raiders unit that ranks eighth in the league in rushing offense at 134.4 yards per game heading into the contest against Green Bay (12 p.m. CT, CBS). According to NFL.com’s profile, Ingold has played in all five games with two starts.
When asked about his rookie fullback, Oakland head coach Jon Gruden praised his rookie.
“We loved Ingold at the Senior Bowl. We stamped a bunch of Raiders stickers on his helmet,” Gruden said on Oct. 16, via the Raiders. “He was really ticked off he didn’t get drafted. If I’d done anything right since I’ve been here coaching the Raiders, it was a recruiting call I made to Ingold. I’m really happy about getting him here.
“He played quarterback at high school in Green Bay. This is a big game for him. Trying to get some video of him throwing the ball, but all I have is him handing off. We’re really thrilled with this kid. He’s got a real presence about him and huge upside.”
Two weekends ago in London against the Chicago Bears, Ingold displayed his blocking prowess and was instrumental in two touchdowns for fellow rookie Josh Jacobs. The first score came on a 12-yard run to start the second-quarter, as the former Badger cut block All-Pro Khalil Mack. That negated any impact on the play by one of the game’s great defensive players.
According to Ingold, however, he “didn’t really know who it was while the play was happening.”
“You get really excited when you look up and you see Josh scoring but didn’t really notice it until after the game,” Ingold said. “It was kind of the position, we knew how they were going to play it, and you try to take advantage of that. You’re so focused on your task and how you’re supposed to be doing your job, you really can’t try and adjust for anything else. It was fun, and there was a lot of energy definitely for Josh’s two touchdown runs that week. ”
Ingold displayed another versatile block for Jacobs’ second score against the Bears, an eventual game winner on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter. The fullback shot out like a torpedo and elevated himself. Jacobs followed behind and crossed the goal line for six.
“I think it was just a normal play call we’ve had multiple times down at the goal line,” Ingold said. “The defense decided to go low on a lot of the offense and there were just a lot of guys on the ground, so I had to get my guy and do my job somehow.”
In transitioning to the professional game from college, Ingold noted he has worked to focus as much as he can in “every facet of the game.” That includes increasing his film study, taking care of his body and communicating with his team ranging from coaches to players and personnel staff.
Working on special teams, Ingold also works to try to grow his role on the offense as a fullback each week.
“You hope that the more trust you build, the more roles you’ll have, but definitely I’m at a starting point in my career where I’m still building those relationships,” Ingold said. “The more opportunities that come my way, the more I’ll be looking to take advantage.”
So if the chance comes and Ingold scores a touchdown inside Lambeau against what was his hometown team, are there enough friends and family seated near the end zone barriers where he could safely land a Lambeau Leap?
“I have no idea,” Ingold said with a laugh. “We’ll have to find out if the time comes.”