Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff pregame show will have a new face on set this fall. Mark Ingram II is replacing Reggie Bush on Fox’s college football pregame show and will work with returning host Rob Stone and analysts Matt Lienart, Brady Quinn and Urban Meyer.
This is the second time Ingram is replacing Bush. Ingram was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2011 and took Bush’s place in the team’s running back rotation after he was traded to the Miami Dolphins.
Ingram has long received praise as a strong interview and insightful figure. This opportunity for him at Fox happened for him at the right time, he recently said during an appearance on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast. He was a free agent, and while he received some calls from NFL teams, Fox’s offer was a little more enticing for Ingram, who has envisioned a career in sports media since he was in middle school.
Ingram says that he can still play.
“My body feels really well. I know for a fact, I was going to address playing each year, and at the end of the season, I got healthy. My body was feeling good. I was like, ‘Yeah, definitely.’ [I was] definitely capable and wanted to play this year.”
While Ingram was receiving some calls, there was nothing that was at the level of the offer from Fox to begin his sports media career.
“If I do play, let’s say I play another one year, two years, God-willing tops, maybe three? That’s still not that long,” Ingram maintained. “And in the grand scheme of things, this is an opportunity where can I get in the door with a great network, with a great position at a desk on a premiere college football show, and be able to grow in the industry. Continue to improve, continue to get better and hopefully be able to do this career for 20-30 years. It was kind of a decision like that. It all just kind of fell into position for me at the perfect moment. That’s the blessing of it.”
Ingram said he’s in a position in his career where he doesn’t want to go play for a team that’s going to win 6 or 7 games.
“If you’re a true, legit contender, go ahead and give me a shout,” he said. Give me a call and I’ll hear you out. I’ll listen. That wasn’t the case what was happening in my free agency. There was some good teams that called, but nothing I was willing to jump at. Nothing that was making sense for me or team at the moment.”
Ingram comes from an SEC background given his Alabama Crimson Tide career, which included him winning the Heisman Trophy in 2009 (the first Alabama player to do so) and winning the national championship with them that season. Following his college career, the Saints drafted him in the first round (21st overall) in 2011, and he’s played in the NFL since with New Orleans (2011-18, 2021-22), the Baltimore Ravens (2019-20), and the Houston Texans (2021).