Mark Ingram a finalist for Heisman Trophy

Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram is one of five finalists for the 2009 Heisman Trophy, it was announced Monday evening on ESPN's SportsCenter.

Ingram will join Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in New York City on Saturday as finalists.  The 75th Heisman Trophy will be presented at the Nokia Theatre in New York City on Saturday, December 12.  The event will be broadcast live by ESPN from 7-8 p.m. (CT).

"It is a great honor to be invited to New York City as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy," Ingram said following the announcement on Monday evening. "I'm looking forward to the experience and appreciate the opportunity to represent our team at the Heisman ceremony. It is a dream come true to be considered for the Heisman Trophy, but none of this would be possible without my coaches and teammates. The offensive line, tight ends, wide receivers and our quarterback have done an unbelievable job all season and our coaches have put us in a position to win each and every week."

Ingram is the first Alabama player to be invited to New York for the Heisman presentation since David Palmer (1993) and Jay Barker (1994) went in back-to-back seasons.

The Flint, Mich., native was named to the 2009 SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press on Monday.  He was also a unanimous first-team All-SEC selection. Ingram is a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, the Maxwell Trophy and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

The sophomore shattered the Alabama single-season rushing record with 1,542 yards this season and 15 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 118.6 yards rushing per game and 6.2 yards per carry while catching 30 passes out of the backfield for 322 yards and three touchdowns. He compiled 1,864 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns this season.

Ingram finished the season with eight 100-yard games, including a season-high and Bryant-Denny Stadium record 246 yards in a 20-6 win over No. 22 South Carolina on Oct. 17. He rushed for 825 yards and six touchdowns in Alabama's five games against top 25 foes, averaging 165 yards per game against Virginia Tech, Mississippi, South Carolina, LSU and Florida.  He also averaged 201.1 all-purpose yards in games against top-25 competition and accounted for more than half of his all-purpose yards (1,002) after contact.

The Crimson Tide has never had a Heisman Trophy winner, but 16 players have finished in the top 10 since the award's inception in 1935.  Palmer finished third in the balloting in 1993, the highest finish in school history.  Lee Roy Jordan (1962) and Johnny Musso (1971) finished fourth, while Joe Kilgrow (1937), Harry Gilmer (1945 and 1947), Pat Trammell (1961), Terry Davis (1971) and Barker (1994) all finished fifth.