As a college senior looking to make it to the NFL, there aren't many more important weeks than the Senior Bowl. LSU linebacker Damone Clark and guard Ed Ingram have both accepted invitations to compete in the game on Feb. 5, 2022, just a few months ahead of the NFL draft.
Both Clark and Ingram are among the most tenured players with this LSU team, each receiving starting playing time over the last two seasons. Clark's development as one of the best linebackers in the country has been one of the truly impressive stories of this season.
He currently has 125 tackles, six tackles for a loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception for the Tigers this season. The Southern Lab product has been a menace all over the field, combining his elite athleticism with improved tackling and an understanding of where to be on the field at all times.
It's helped him earn a Butkus Award finalist recognition and is likely in store for All-SEC and All-American nods as well. This LSU defense has really come along the last few weeks with more focus on the 3-4 blitzing packages, holding each of its last three opponents to 20 points or fewer.
Clark has been a huge key to the Tigers' success in 2021 and that will only continue in what will be his final game in Death Valley on Saturday against a solid Texas A&M team.
As for Ingram, his career in Baton Rouge has contained moments of strong play and he's been relatively healthy, starting 19 of a possible 21 games in the last two seasons. Ingram, Austin Deculus and Liam Shanahan have been leaders of this offense the last two seasons, with both Ingram and Deculus two of the only remaining players left from that championship season.
Coach Ed Orgeron talked about the importance of having that experience two years ago and why it's been difficult to stay at that level since.
"After you win a championship everybody puts their fingerprint on that trophy," Orgeron said. "Everybody's head gets a little bit bigger and you forget how you got there. The reason that team became a championship team is they had great assistant coaches, great players. Life's gonna throw you a bunch of curves and it's not what happens to you, it's how you react. I think these seniors have learned how to fight through adversity no matter what the circumstances."