Sophomore running back Mark Ingram etched his named into Crimson Tide lore tonight by becoming the first Alabama player to win the Heisman Trophy. Ingram was presented the 75th Heisman Memorial Trophy at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square in a live announcement on ESPN. Ingram tallied 1,304 points and 227 first-place votes to beat out Stanford's Toby Gerhart (1,276 points and 222 first-place votes) in the closest Heisman Trophy voting in history.
Ingram is the second running back to win the Heisman Trophy this decade, joining former Southern California All-American Reggie Bush, who won the award in 2005. He is the 40th running back to win the Heisman Trophy, but just the eighth since 1985. He is the ninth player in Southeastern Conference history to win the Heisman Trophy and the second in the last three years, joining 2007 winner Tim Tebow (Florida). Other SEC winners include Frank Sinkwich (Georgia, 1942), Billy Cannon (LSU, 1959), Steve Spurrier (Florida, 1966), Pat Sullivan (Auburn, 1971), Herschel Walker (Georgia, 1982), Bo Jackson (Auburn) and Danny Wuerffel (Florida).
Ingram had a stellar season leading the top-ranked Crimson Tide to the SEC Championship and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game against Texas on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. His list of 2009 accomplishments includes first team All-American selection by the Football Writers Association of American (FWAA) All-American selection, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Walter Camp Foundation, 2009 SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press, and first team All-SEC by SEC Head Coaches and the AP. He was a finalist of the Doak Walker Award and the Maxwell Award.
The Flint, Mich., native ran 249 times for 1542 yards and 15 touchdowns in the 13 games for the nation's 12th best rushing offense (215.85 yards per game) this season. He shattered the Alabama single-season rushing record previously held by Bobby Humphrey in 1987. Ingram was second in the SEC and 12th nationally with 118.6 yards per game. He also averaged 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. He was fourth in the SEC and 31st nationally with 143.38 all-purpose yards per game. He was second in the SEC and 26th nationally in scoring with 8.61 points per game.
In five games against top 25 teams, Ingram averaged 165 yards per game in wins over No. 7 Virginia Tech, No. 20 Mississippi, No. 22 South Carolina, No. 9 LSU and No. 1 Florida. He ran 128 times for 825 yards for 6.4 yard average and scored six touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown.
In eight SEC games, Ingram ran for 128.8 yards per game in leading the Tide to its 22nd SEC Championship and second straight SEC Western Division championship. He had 166 rushing attempts for 1,030 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry against SEC defenses this season. In addition, Ingram caught 18 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown in SEC play. He recorded eight 100-yard games this season and set a Bryant-Denny Stadium record with 246 rushing yards in the Crimson Tide's 20-6 win over the No. 22 South Carolina Gamecocks on Oct. 17. He was a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week winner, earning the award against No. 7 Virginia Tech (26-150-1) and South Carolina (24-246-1).