The Saints traded with the New England Patriots for the 28th selection int he 2011 NFL Draft and selected Alabama RB Mark Ingram. To get the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, the Saints traded their second round pick and next year's first round pick to the Patriots.
The son of former National Football League wide receiver, Mark Ingram, a standout during his playing days with the New York Giants, “Junior” is regarded as the elite ball carrier in the collegiate ranks. The ball carrier has often been compared to Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer, Emmitt Smith, as both play with that low pad level and strong leg drive to power his way through tight rush lanes, along with the second gear to pull away from defenders in the open field.
Ingram became the first player in Alabama’s storied history to capture the 2009 Heisman Memorial Trophy. The Crimson Tide tailback joined Florida’s Tim Tebow and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford as the only sophomores ever to win the award. A unanimous first-team All-American selection, Ingram shattered school records with 1,658 yards rushing on 271 carries with 17 touchdowns for Alabama’s 2009 National Championship squad.
Ingram shows terrific vision and patience to follow his blocking and find the holes. The Tide tailback also has outstanding lateral agility to hit creases and the burst to take it the distance. He also has excellent ball handling skills, having turned the ball over just twice during a career that saw him touch the pigskin 634 times (572 rushes, 60 receptions and two kickoff returns).
Even though Ingram started just 24 contests during his 39-game career with the Tide, he ranks seventh among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers with 42 rushing touchdowns and also with 46 total scores. His 3,261 yards on the ground placed 15th among active players.
Few of those 2010 collegiate performers can boast Ingram’s success where it counts most for a running back – inside the red zone. From 20 yards away from the goal-line, the junior amassed 24 of his rushing touchdowns, scoring 22 times on goal-line plays during his last two seasons. Operating in those close quarters during that span, he was stopped for a loss just five times on 78 carries.
Before Ingram’s arrival, the Alabama rushing attack ranked eighth in the conference and 60th nationally, averaging 149.23 yards per game on the ground. As a true freshman in 2008, he teamed with starting tailback Glen Coffee to boost that number to 184.64 rushing yards per game, placing third in the Southeastern Conference and 31st nationally.
When Ingram took over starting duties in 2009, Alabama’s ground game ranked among the nation’s elite, placing third in the conference and 12th nationally with an average of 215.07 rushing yards per game. As a junior, injuries prevented him from playing in the Tide’s first two games, but once he returned to action, he helped the rushing attack average 182.92 yards per game.
Ingram etched his named among the elite running backs in the history of the Southeastern Conference. He set a Crimson Tide season-record with 1,658 yards in rushing in 2009, shattering the old mark of 1,471 set by Bobby Humphrey in 1996. That number also ranks sixth in SEC annals behind such prestigious names like Herschel Walker of Georgia (1,891 in 1981; 1,752 in 1982), Darren McFadden of Arkansas (1,830; 2007), Bo Jackson of Auburn (1,786; 1985) and Charles Alexander of Louisiana State (1,686; 1977).
Ingram’s 42 touchdown runs broke Shaun Alexander’s previous school all-time record (41; 1996-99) and tied Anthony Dixon of Mississippi State for seventh (2006-09) in league annals. In 39 games, he recorded a total of 46 scores (four more receiving), topped by only Alexander’s 50 on the Tide’s career-record chart. That total also tied Anthony Dixon of Mississippi State (47 games, 2006-09) and Carnell Williams of Auburn (42 games, 2001-04) for sixth place on the SEC’s all-time record list.
Ingram attended Grand Blanc High School in Michigan for three seasons, where he excelled in football and track. Prior to his senior season, his family moved and he transferred to Flint Southwestern Academy. He started all four years of his prep career and was a four-time All-Area honoree on the gridiron and a nine-time All-State choice in track.
The prep standout was rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, as that recruiting service listed him as the nation’s 189th overall player and 17th-best athlete prospect. He was also regarded as the sixth-best recruit from the state of Michigan, according to that recruiting service. Scout.com listed him as a three-star prospect and ranked him as the 58th-best running back prospect in the country.
During his junior campaign at Grand Blanc High, Ingram rushed for 846 yards and fourteen touchdowns on 121 carries (6.99 ypc). He also caught 22 passes for 260 yards and a pair of scores, posting 33 tackles with two interceptions on defense.
As a senior at Southwestern Academy, Ingram set city game-records with a stunning 358-yard rushing performance vs. Bay City Western High that including six touchdown runs. He earned All-State honors and was named the Saginaw Valley Most Valuable Player and Area Player of the Year, adding Detroit Free Press Offensive Dream Team accolades. That season, Ingram finished with 1,699 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns in 2007. He also recorded 84 tackles with eight interceptions as a cornerback his senior season. For the track team, he had career bests of 23’8” in the long jump, 21.9 in the 200-meter and 10.69 clocking in the 100-meter dashes. He graduated with a 3.0 grade point average.
Ingram was offered scholarships from football programs around the country, including Alabama, Arizona State, Iowa, Michigan State, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin. "I picked Alabama because it is the chance to come in with a special recruiting class and compete for a championship," said Ingram at the time he signed his national letter of intent to join the Tide on January 11th, 2008.
Ingram enrolled at Alabama in 2008 and played a key role in the Tide’s potent rushing attack as one of the top freshman in the country. He saw action in all fourteen 14 games, splitting carries with starting tailback Glen Coffee, as he gained 728 yards on 143 carries while leading the team and tying for third in the Southeastern Conference with 12 touchdowns. He added 54 yards on seven catches and 26 yards on a kickoff return. He was a Freshman All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches and earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after rushing for 113 yards and two scores vs. Arkansas State.
With the departure of Coffee, who declared early for the 2009 NFL Draft, Ingram took over starting tailback duties as a sophomore, enjoying one of the finest collegiate seasons in conference history. He set a school record with 1,658 yards rushing on 271 carries with 17 touchdowns, and added 334 yards and three more scores on 32 receptions. He finished with an average of 142.29 all-purpose yards per game, totaling 1,992 yards.
Ingram earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week accolades twice and was recognized for SEC outstanding performances on three other occasions in 2009. In a 20-6 victory over South Carolina, the tailback rushed for 246 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, which ranks as the third-best rushing game in Crimson Tide history.
Ingram edged Toby Gerhart of Stanford to become the first Tide player and just the third sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy. He led the Tide to a perfect 14-0 season and was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the BCS National Championship, after rushing for 116 yards and two scores in the 37-21 victory over Texas.
The Tide tailback added consensus first-team All-American honors and was a unanimous first-team All-SEC choice by the Associated Press and the league’s coaches. He finished as a finalist for the Maxwell Award (Top Overall Player), Doak Walker Award (Top Running Back) and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He was named the Sporting News National Player of the Year and the Associated Press SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
Entering his junior season, Ingram missed the first two games of the season, but made a triumphant return to rush for 151 yards and two touchdowns on a mere nine carries in Alabama’s third contest of the season vs. Duke. Ingram followed by gaining 157 yards and two more scores on 24 carries vs. Arkansas the following, earning SEC Outstanding Performance recognition for both game efforts. He might have failed to match his production from the previous season, but the junior still led the Tide with 875 yards and 13 touchdowns on 158 carries (5.54 ypc) in 2010. He added 282 yards and another score on 21 receptions and returned a kickoff 19 yards, totaling 1,176 all-purpose yards on the season. He earned second-team All-SEC honors and was one of six recipients of Alabama’s Offensive Player of the Year Award.
On January 7th, 2011, Ingram, receiver Julio Jones and defensive end Marcell Dareus all announced that they would forgo their final season of eligibility to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.
Started 24-of-39 games, carrying 572 times for 3,261 yards (5.70 ypc) and 42 touchdowns…Added 670 yards and four scores on 60 receptions (11.17 ypc) and totaled 278 points…Added two kickoff returns for 45 yards (22.50 avg)…Collected 3,976 all-purpose yards on 634 plays (6.27 avg), averaging 101.95 yards per game…Also had one solo tackle…His 3,976 all-purpose yards rank third in school history behind Bobby Humphrey (4,958; 1985-88) and Shaun Alexander (4,433; 1996-99)…1,992 all-purpose yards in 2009 rank second in Alabama annals, topped by Bobby Humphrey’s 2,016 in 1986, as Ingram’s total also placed eighth on the SEC season-record list…Averaged 142.3 all-purpose yards per game in 2009, ranking as the fifth-highest season mark in school history…271 rushing attempts in 2009 rank as the fourth-most on Alabama’s annual record chart,topped by Shaun Alexander (302; 1999) Sherman Williams (291; 1994) and Shaud Williams (2003; 290)…Averaged 5.70 yards per rushing attempt, ranking second on the school’s record list (min. 400 attempts)…His 3,261 career rushing yards rank as the fourth-most in school history, surpassed only by Shaun Alexander (3,565; 1996-99), Bobby Humphrey (3,420; 1985-88) and Kenneth Darby (3,324; 2003-06)…Set a Crimson Tide record with 1,658 yards in rushing in 2009, shattering the old mark of 1,471 set by Bobby Humphrey in 1996. That number also ranks sixth in SEC history behind Herschel Walker of Georgia (1,891 in 1981; 1,752 in 1982), Darren McFadden of Arkansas (1,830; 2007), Bo Jackson of Auburn (1,786; 1985) and Charles Alexander of LSU (1,686; 1977)…Rushed for 246 yard vs. South Carolina in 2009, ranking as the third-highest game total by a Tide player…His 42 touchdown runs broke Shaun Alexander’s previous school career record (41; 1996-99) and tied Anthony Dixon of Mississippi State for seventh (2006-09) in Southeastern Conference annals behind Tim Tebow of Florida (55; 2006-09), Herschel Walker of Georgia (49; 1980-82), Kevin Faulk of Louisiana State (46; 1995-98), Carnell Williams of Auburn (45; 2001-04), Dalton Hilliard of Louisiana State (44; 1982-85) and Bo Jackson of Auburn (43; 1982-85)…His 46 total touchdowns (four receiving) rank behind Alexander’s 50 on the school all-time record list, tying Anthony Dixon of Mississippi State (47 games, 2006-09) and Carnell Williams of Auburn (42 games, 2001-04) for sixth place on the SEC’s career-record chart…Ingram’s 17 touchdown runs in 2009 rank second to Shaun Alexander (19; 1999) on Alabama’s season record list and tied for seventh in Southeastern Conference annals…Scored 20 total touchdowns in 2009, ranking second to Alexander (24; 1999) on the school’s season-record chart.
All-Southeastern Conference second-team selection by the league’s coaches…Member of Watch Lists for the Maxwell (Top Player), Doak Walker (Top Running Back) and Walter Camp Player of the Year Awards…Co-Recipient of Alabama’s Offensive Player of the Year Award…Started all 11 games he played in, missing the first two contests of the season with a left knee injury…Carried the ball 158 times for 875 yards (5.54 ypc) and 13 touchdowns…Produced 54 first down runs on 158 attempts (34.18%), as he converted 9-of-16 third-down rushing attempts (56.25%) and 1-of-1 fourth-down carries (100%)…Had 20 carries that gained at least 10 yards (12.66%), including seven that went for 20 yards or longer (4.43%)…In addition to his 13 touchdown runs, Ingram had key rushing attempts that set up six touchdown drives and four others that ended in field goals, as he scored 84 points…On 57-of-145 non-touchdown carries (39.31%), it took more than one defender to bring him down…Registered 34 of his carries inside the red zone (21.52%), including 22 on goal-line plays (13.92%)… Caught 21-of-25 passes targeted to him (84.0%) for 282 yards (13.43 ypc), producing eight first downs and converting 2-of-5 third-down passes (40%), as seven of his receptions gained at least 10 yards, including four that went for 20 yards or longer, as he set up one touchdown drive and two others that ended in field goals…Added one solo tackle after an interception…Ranked seventh in the conference and 51st nationally with an average of 79.55 rushing yards per game…Ranked ninth in the league and 52nd in country in scoring, averaging 7.64 points per game…Earned SEC Outstanding Performance notices vs. Duke, Arkansas and Louisiana State.
The consensus All-American first-team selection (The NFL Draft Report, America Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association, Associated Press, The Sporting News and Walter Camp) was the recipient of the Heisman Trophy, and finished as a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year
Award...Named the Sporting News National Player of the Year, the Associated Press SEC Offensive Player of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-SEC selection by the AP and league’s coaches…Started all 14 games and led the SEC and ranked fourth nationally with 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns on 271 carries (6.12 ypc)…Produced 87 first down runs on 271 attempts (32.10%), as he converted 16-of-29 third-down rushing attempts (55.17%) and 5-of-6 fourth-down attempts (83.33%)…Had 50 carries that gained at least 10 yards (18.45%), including 17 that went for 20 yards or longer (6.27%)…In addition to his 17 touchdown runs, Ingram had key rushing attempts that set up eight touchdown drives and seven others that ended in field goals, as he scored 120 points…On 100-of-254 non-touchdown carries (39.37%), it took more than one defender to bring him down…Registered 44 of his carries inside the red zone, including 22 on goal-line plays…Caught 32-of-38 passes targeted to him for 334 yards (10.44 ypc) and three touchdowns, as the opposition managed to deflect one of those attempts, producing eight first downs and converting 4-of-13 third-down attempts, as 10 of his receptions gained at least 10 yards, including four that went for 20 yards or longer, setting up four touchdown drives and two others that ended in field goals…Attempted one pass that fell incomplete…His 1,992 all-purpose yards rank second in Alabama history behind Bobby Humphrey’s 2,016 in 1986 and place eighth on the Southeastern Conference single-season record list…Averaged 142.3 all-purpose yards per game, ranking as the fifth-highest single-season mark in school history…His 271 rushing attempts rank as the fourth-most on Alabama’s single-season record chart, topped by Shaun Alexander (302; 1999) Sherman Williams (291; 1994) and Shaud Williams (2003; 290)…Set a new single-season record with 1,658 yards rushing, shattering the old mark of 1,471 by Bobby Humphrey in 1996, as that number also ranks sixth in Southeastern Conference history behind Herschel Walker of Georgia (1,891 in 1981; 1,752 in 1982), Darren McFadden of Arkansas (1,830; 2007), Bo Jackson of Auburn (1,786; 1985) and Charles Alexander of LSU (1,686;1977)…Rushed for 246 yard vs. South Carolina, ranking as the third-highest single-game total in school history…His 17 rushing touchdowns also place second to Alexander (19; 1999) on Alabama’s single-season record list and ties for seventh in Southeastern Conference annals…Earned National Championship Offensive MVP vs. Texas…Earned league Offensive Player of the Week honors vs. Virginia Tech and South Carolina…Also received SEC Outstanding Performance notices vs. Kentucky, Mississippi and Mississippi State.
Freshman All-SEC selection by league coaches…Played in all 14 games as a reserve tailback and gained 728 yards with a team-high 12 touchdowns on 143 carries (5.09 ypc)…Produced 42 first down runs and converted eight third-down carries, as five of his attempts gained at least 20 yards…Added 54 yards on seven receptions (7.71 ypc), with three of those coming on third-downs…Accumulated 808 all-purpose yards, as he scored 74 points…Ranked eighth in the SEC with an average of 52.0 rushing yards per game and 13th in scoring at 5.29 points per contest…Earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors vs. Arkansas State…Earned Alabama Offensive Player of the Week vs. Clemson.
Attended Grand Blanc (Flint, Mich.) Community High School for three seasons, playing football for head coach Joe Delaney…Ran for 846 yards and 14 touchdowns on 121 carries (6.99 ypc) as a junior, adding 260 yards and two scores on 22 receptions (11.82 ypc) while posting 33 tackles with two interceptions as a cornerback…Attended Flint Southwestern Academy for his senior season, playing for head coach Gary Lee…Earned All-State honors after rushing for 1,699 yards and 24 touchdowns on offense, as he also registered 84 tackles with eight interceptions as a cornerback his senior season…Set city game-records with a stunning 358-yard rushing performance vs. Bay City Western High that including six touchdown runs in 2007…Earned All-State honors and was named the Saginaw Valley Most Valuable Player and Area Player of the Year, adding Detroit Free Press Offensive Dream Team accolades…Rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, as that recruiting service listed him as the nation’s 189th overall player and 17th-best athlete prospect…Was also regarded as the sixth-best recruit from the state of Michigan, according to that recruiting service…Scout.com listed him as a three-star prospect and ranked him as the 58th-best running back prospect in the country…For the track team, he had career bests of 23’8” in the long jump, 21.9 in the 200-meter and 10.69 clocking in the 100-meter dashes…Graduated with a 3.0 grade point average.
Telecommunication and Film major…One of six recipients of Alabama’s Commitment to Academic Excellence Award in 2010…Son of Shonda and Mark Ingram…Father, Mark Ingram, Sr., played wide receiver at Michigan State before being drafted by the New York Giants 28th overall in 1987. He played ten seasons in the National Football League with the Giants, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, including a victory in Super Bowl XXV with the Giants…Born 12/21/89 in Hackensack, New Jersey…Resides in Flint, Michigan.