Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

No. 1 Mark Ingram: The Heisman Winner


When you think of great Alabama running backs, a few names come to mind. Dennis Riddle, Kenneth Darby and Shaun Alexander are just a few to etch their names in Alabama history, but one name rings a little louder. One name stands tall – 5 feet 10 inches – and reigns supreme. That name is Mark Ingram, Jr.

Born Dec. 21, 1989 in Hackensack, New Jersey, Ingram is the son of former National Football League wide receiver Mark Ingram, Sr., who won a super bowl with the New York Giants.

Coming out of high school in Flint, Michigan, Ingram was rated as a four-star running back by He was a part of an Alabama recruiting class that featured Julio Jones, Dont’a Hightower and Mark Barron. Ingram’s father played for Alabama head coach Nick Saban while Saban was the coach for Michigan State.

As a true freshman, Ingram played behind former Alabama running back Glen Coffee. During his freshman season, he rushed for 728 yards on 143 carries and had a team-high 12 touchdowns, which set an Alabama freshman record. He was selected to the 2008 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team.

In 2009, Ingram became arguably the most famous player to compete at Alabama when he won the Crimson Tide’s first-ever Heisman trophy in the closest vote in the award’s 76-year history.

He put the team on his back, carrying the Tide to both the SEC Championship and the national title as a sophomore. On 271 carries, Ingram rushed for 17 touchdowns and1,658 yards, an Alabama single-season rushing record, and caught 32 passes for 334 yards. He was a unanimous first-team All-American, unanimous first-team All-SEC selection and was voted the Associated Press’s SEC Offensive Player of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

“Mark is one of the more complete running backs I have ever coached,” Saban said. “He runs well, catches the ball out of the back field and does a great job in pass protection.”

Ingram and the Tide went into the 2010 season with high expectations, but his playing time was delayed due to a knee injury. He missed the first two games of the season and never looked completely healthy once he returned. During his junior year, he only went over 100 yards twice. He finished the season with 13 touchdowns and 875 rushing yards on 158 attempts.

Ingram finished his stellar career with the Tide as one of the most productive players in Alabama history with 3,261 rushing yards on 572 carries with 42 touchdowns, which broke Shaun Alexander’s record for career touchdowns. He averaged over five yards per carry.

Ingram’s skills and popularity earned him the fan’s vote to be on the cover of NCAA Football 2012. He beat out other college stars like Washington quarterback Jake Locker and Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray.

“Thanks so much to all my fans for making a dream come true!!” Ingram said in a Twitter post. “Just so all my fans know, I won by at least 1,000 votes everyday of the voting and won by over 25,000 votes. #bestfansever #rolltide.”

After deciding to forgo his senior year, Ingram is now preparing for the NFL Draft. He is projected by ESPN scouts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay as the best running back in this year’s draft class and that he will be the first running back off the board as a mid-to-late first round pick.

Ingram has drawn comparison to legendary Dallas Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith for his elusiveness and his ability to “press the hole.” Scouts Inc. said Ingram is the most competitive runner to come out of college since Adrian Peterson and his profile says he’s a “a tough, determined and no-nonsense runner. [Ingram] possesses excellent field awareness, particularly with down markers and goal lines. A consistent finisher, almost always falling forward at the end of runs.”

No matter which team chooses to draft him, Ingram will make an immediate impact in the NFL.

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