Mark Ingram Jr.

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Mark Ingram Jr.
refer to caption
Ingram during his visit to the White House in 2010
No. 22 – New Orleans Saints
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1989-12-21) December 21, 1989 (age 28)[1]
Hackensack, New Jersey
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Flint Southwestern Academy
(Flint, Michigan)
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28
Career history
Roster status: Suspended
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2017
Rushing yards: 5,362
Yards per carry: 4.5
Rushing touchdowns: 44
Receptions: 207
Receiving yards: 1,428
Receiving touchdowns: 4
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Mark Valentino Ingram Jr. (born December 21, 1989) is an American football running back for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Alabama, won the Heisman Trophy, and was a member of a national championship team. He was drafted by the Saints in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

During his sophomore college season in 2009, Ingram won the first Heisman Trophy ever awarded to an Alabama Crimson Tide player,[2] set the Crimson Tide's single-season rushing record with 1,658 yards,[3] was recognized as a unanimous All-American,[4] and helped lead the Tide to an undefeated 14–0 season and the 2010 BCS National Championship.[5]

Since entering the NFL in 2011, Ingram has earned two Pro Bowl selections (2014 and 2017). In 2018, he received a four-game suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

Early years[edit]

Ingram was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, the son of former wide receiver for the New York Giants, Mark Ingram Sr. He attended Grand Blanc Community High School in Grand Blanc, Michigan during his freshman, sophomore and junior years, and then Flint Southwestern Academy in Flint, Michigan for his senior year.[6][7][8][9] He was a four-year starter on his high schools' football teams, running for 2,546 yards and 38 touchdowns in his final two seasons.[10][11] He was Saginaw Valley MVP, Area Player of the Year, and an All-State selection as a senior. Ingram also played defensively as a cornerback, totaling 84 tackles and eight interceptions his senior year.[12]

In addition to football, Ingram also ran track & field while at Flint, where he was nine-time All-State selection. He competed as a sprinter (PR of 10.69 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.90 seconds in the 200-meter dash) and long jumper (top-leap of 7.25 meters).

Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com,[13] Ingram was listed as the No. 17 high school athlete in the nation in 2008.[14]

College career[edit]

Ingram received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Alabama, where he played for coach Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2008 to 2010.[15]

Freshman season[edit]

Ingram played behind Glen Coffee his freshman year, and he was selected to the 2008 SEC All-Freshman Team.[16] He made his collegiate debut in the season opener against Clemson. In the victory over the Tigers, he finished with 17 carries for 96 yards.[17] In the next game against Tulane, he recorded his first collegiate rushing touchdown.[18] He followed that up with 51 rushing yards and two more rushing touchdowns in a victory over Western Kentucky in the next game.[19] In his first conference game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, he had 53 rushing yards and a touchdown.[20] In the next game against Georgia, he was limited to 17 yards but had his fourth straight game with a rushing touchdown.[21] After a 66-yard performance against Kentucky, he had 73 rushing yards and a touchdown against Ole Miss.[22][23] On October 1, against Arkansas State, he finished with 113 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.[24] On October 15, against Mississippi State, he finished with 78 rushing yards and a touchdown.[25] In the Iron Bowl, against Auburn, he finished with 64 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and 27 receiving yards.[26] In the SEC Championship against Florida, he was held to 21 rushing yards but had a rushing touchdown.[27] In the Sugar Bowl, against Utah, he finished the season with 26 rushing yards.[28] Overall, in the 2008 season, he finished with 728 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.[29] His team-high 12 touchdowns also set the Alabama freshman school record.[10]

Sophomore season[edit]

In the season opener of the 2009–10 season (Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: #5 Alabama against #7 Virginia Tech), Ingram was the player of the game with 150 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, and a receiving touchdown.[30]

On October 3, against Kentucky, he had 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns.[31] On October 10, against Ole Miss, he finished with 172 rushing yards and a touchdown.[32] On October 17, in a game against South Carolina, Ingram ran for a career-high 246 yards.[33] He was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week.[34] On November 7, against LSU, he finished with 22 carries for 144 rushing yards.[35] In the next game, against Mississippi State, he finished with 149 rushing yards and two touchdowns.[36]

In the 2009 SEC Championship Game versus the undefeated and top-ranked Florida Gators, Ingram rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns, while also catching two passes for 76 receiving yards to combine for 189 all-purpose yards.[37] In the game, Ingram also surpassed Bobby Humphrey's single-season rushing record for the Crimson Tide, reaching 1,542 rushing yards for the season.[38]

On December 12, Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in the closest vote in the award's 75-year history.[39] Ingram was Alabama's first Heisman winner, the third consecutive sophomore to win the award, and the first running back to win the award since Reggie Bush. At the time, Ingram was nine days shy of his twentieth birthday, making him the youngest player to win the Heisman.[40] Ingram was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American, having received first-team honors from the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, and Walter Camp Football Foundation.[41][42]

On January 7, 2010, Alabama defeated Texas 37–21 to win the BCS National Championship.[43] Ingram received honors as Offensive MVP after rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.[44] For the 2009 season, Ingram rushed for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns, and also had 334 receiving yards with 3 touchdowns.[45][46]

Junior season[edit]

Ingram (#22) next to quarterback Greg McElroy (#12)

Ingram was ruled out for the season opener after undergoing minor knee surgery the week prior to the opening game against San Jose State.[47] Sophomore running back Trent Richardson filled in for Ingram for the first two games, after it was announced that the junior was not likely to play against Penn State on September 11.[48] He eventually made his season debut in a road game against Duke, rushing for 151 yards on nine carries, including two touchdowns in the first quarter, as Alabama routed the Blue Devils 62–13.[49][50]

After a 3–0 start, Alabama traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to face the Arkansas Razorbacks in the conference opener for the Crimson Tide. Ingram and the Alabama offense came back from a 20–7 third quarter deficit to take a 24–20 lead with just over three minutes remaining, when Ingram capped a short, 12-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run.[51][52] Ingram finished with 157 yards on 21 attempts and two touchdowns.[53] He did not break 100 yards again during the regular season.[54] On October 9, Alabama suffered their first loss since the 2009 Sugar Bowl when the team fell 35–21 to South Carolina in Williams-Brice Stadium. Ingram was held to a season-low 41 yards on 11 carries in the loss.[55][56] In his final collegiate game, he finished with 59 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Michigan State in the Capitol One Bowl.[57]

Ingram finished his junior season with 875 yards on 158 carries with 13 touchdowns, with an additional 282 yards receiving and a touchdown.[58][54] On January 6, 2011, Ingram announced he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2011 NFL Draft.[59][60] At the time of the announcement, he was projected as a first round pick.[59][60]

College career statistics[edit]

Year Team GP–GS Rushing Receiving Kick returns
Att Gain Loss Net Avg TD Long Avg/G Rec Rec–Yards Avg TD Long Avg/G No. Yards Avg TD Long
2008 Alabama[61] 14–0 143 743 15 728 5.1 12 40 52.0 7 54 7.7 0 27 3.9 1 26 26.0 0 26
2009 Alabama[45] 14–13 271 1,678 20 1,658 6.1 17 70 118.4 32 334 10.4 3 69 23.9 0 0 0 0 0
2010 Alabama[62] 13–11 158 903 28 875 5.5 13 54 67.3 21 282 13.4 1 78 0 0 0 0 0
Career 41–24 572 3,324 63 3,261 5.7 42 70 84.3 60 670 11.2 4 78 17.2 2 45 22.5 0 26

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 9 in
(1.75 m)
215 lb
(98 kg)
4.62 s 1.54 s 2.58 s 4.34 s 7.13 s 31.5 in
(0.80 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
27 reps
All values from NFL Combine

The New Orleans Saints selected Ingram in the first round with the 28th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft—the same pick number the Giants used to draft his father, Mark Ingram Sr., twenty-four years earlier.[63][64] Ingram was the first running back drafted in 2011; since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, this was the latest pick used for the first running back chosen in an NFL draft.[65] The Saints acquired the pick from the New England Patriots, trading their second-round selection (#56 overall) and their first-round selection in 2012 to do so.[64] As Alabama head coach Nick Saban is part of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's coaching tree, the Patriots were widely assumed to be interested in drafting Ingram themselves.[66] On July 28, 2011, Ingram decided on the number #28 in honor of his and his father's draft pick number.[67] The next day Ingram agreed with the Saints on a four-year contract, with three years guaranteed and a fifth year option. The contract is worth $7.41 million, with a $3.89 million signing bonus.[67][68]

2011 season[edit]

On August 12, 2011, Ingram scored his first career touchdown as a Saint on a 14-yard run in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.[69] On September 25, Ingram scored his first touchdown in regular season play as a Saint on a tough 13-yard run against the Houston Texans.[70] On October 23, late in the game on Sunday Night Football in a runaway win against the Indianapolis Colts Ingram injured his heel.[71] It was considered a 'day-to-day' injury at first, but Ingram was unable to practice the entire week and missed the following game versus the winless St. Louis Rams which ended in a 31-21 loss for the Saints.[72] He returned to action against the Atlanta Falcons on November 13.[73] On November 28, against the New York Giants, he finished with 80 rushing yards and a touchdown.[74] In his final action of the 2011 season on December 4, he finished with 54 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Detroit Lions.[75] He suffered a toe injury and missed the remainder of the season.[76] He finished his rookie season with 474 rushing yards and five touchdowns.[77]

2012 season[edit]

Ingram remained in the Saints' backfield for the 2012 season. He had 15 rushing yards in a season opening loss to the Washington Redskins.[78] In Week 2, against the Carolina Panthers, he finished with 53 rushing yards and his first touchdown of the season.[79] Through Week 10, his best outing was 67 rushing yards in a 31–27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.[80] In the following game, against the Oakland Raiders, he finished with 67 rushing yards and a touchdown.[81] On November 29, he was limited to only 13 yards but had one touchdown in the 23–13 loss to the Falcons.[82] In Week 15, he had his best outing of the season with 90 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 41–0 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[83] In the penultimate game of the season, he finished with 53 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys.[84] Overall, in the 2012 season, he finished with 602 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.[85]

2013 season[edit]

Ingram in 2015

After wearing the #28 jersey for two seasons, Ingram changed to number 22, the number he wore at Alabama, before the beginning of the 2013 season.[86] He started off the season slow with only 31 combined rushing yards in the first two games.[87][88] Ingram's performance was hampered by a toe injury. He returned to action on November 3, but only posted 19 rushing yards against the New York Jets.[89] In the next game, a 49–17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, he had a career day with 145 rushing yards and a touchdown.[90] Over the remainder of the season, he did not post over 32 rushing yards in a single game barring the Week 16 game against the Carolina Panthers, where he had 83 yards.[91] Overall, in the 2013 season, he finished with 386 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.[92] The Saints qualified for the playoffs in the 2013 season. In the Wild Card Round against the Philadelphia Eagles, he finished with 97 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and 17 receiving yards in the 26–24 victory.[93] In the Divisional Round against the Seattle Seahawks, he finished with 49 rushing yards in the 23–15 loss.[94]

2014 season[edit]

In the season opener, against the Atlanta Falcons, he finished with 60 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 37–34 overtime loss.[95] In the next game, a 26–24 loss to the Cleveland Browns, he finished with 83 rushing yards and his third rushing touchdown of the season.[96] On October 26, Ingram ran for a career-high 172 yards on 24 carries and added one touchdown as the Saints defeated the Green Bay Packers 44−23.[97] With his 30 carry, 100 yard and 2 touchdown performance against the Carolina Panthers in the Saints' next game, Ingram became the first Saint since Deuce McAllister in 2006 to rush for over 100 yards in consecutive games.[98][99] In the next game against the San Francisco 49ers, he finished with 120 rushing yards.[100] After a 67-yard game against the Cincinnati Bengals and a 27-yard game against the Baltimore Ravens, he had 122 rushing yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[101][102][103] In the last three games of the regular season, he finished with a rushing touchdown in each game.[104][105][106] He finished the 2014 NFL season with a career-high 1,109 yards from scrimmage (964 rushing yards and 145 receiving yards).[107]

2015 season[edit]

On March 7, 2015, Ingram and the Saints agreed to a four-year deal.[108] In the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals, he was held to 24 rushing yards in the 31–19 loss.[109] In the next game, a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he finished with 53 rushing yards and his first touchdown of the season.[110] He scored another rushing touchdown in the next game against the Carolina Panthers.[111] On October 15, against the Atlanta Falcons, he finished with 46 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.[112] In the next game, a 27–21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, he had his best game of the season with 143 rushing yards and a touchdown.[113] On November 15, Ingram injured his shoulder in the Week 10 matchup against the Washington Redskins. Ingram and the Saints would end up losing the game 47 to 14.[114][115] On December 6, against the Carolina Panthers, he made his final appearance of the season and had 56 rushing yards and a touchdown.[116] He finished the 2015 season with 769 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns, and 405 receiving yards.[117]

2016 season[edit]

In the season opener against the Oakland Raiders, Ingram finished with 58 rushing yards and 29 receiving yards.[118] After a 30-yard game against the New York Giants and a 77-yard game against the Atlanta Falcons, he had 56 rushing yards and his first touchdown of the season against the San Diego Chargers.[119][120][121] On November 6, against the San Francisco 49ers, he finished with 158 rushing yards and a touchdown.[122] In Week 12 of the 2016 season, Ingram ran for 146 yards on 14 attempts and a touchdown along with one catch for 21 yards for a touchdown in a 49-21 win against the Los Angeles Rams, earning him NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[123] Five weeks later, against the Atlanta Falcons, Ingram rushed for 103 yards on 20 attempts becoming the Saints' first 1,000 yard rusher since Deuce McAllister in 2006 over a decade earlier. He finished the season with a career-high 1,043 rushing yards and added an additional 319 receiving yards to go along with 10 total touchdowns.[124] Ingram's 5.1 yards per attempt ranked ninth among NFL running backs in 2016.[125]

2017 season[edit]

Ingram began the 2017 season sharing carries with former Vikings star Adrian Peterson and rookie Alvin Kamara, but became the team's first-option rusher in Week 3.[126] After averaging just 42 yards a game through the first four, after the Saints' bye week Ingram had consecutive 100+ yard games against Detroit and Green Bay in Weeks 6 and 7, including his first three touchdowns of the season.[127][128] In Week 10, he led the NFL with 131 rushing yards and his first career game with three touchdowns in an emphatic 47-10 victory over Buffalo, moving him into a three-way tie for the league lead in rushing touchdowns at seven with Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley.[129] In Week 11, he again led the NFL with 134 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries in a 34-31 overtime win over Washington, earning him NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[130] Kamara also had 100+ yards from scrimmage in both games.[131] In Week 13, he recorded 85 yards rushing and scored his NFL-leading ninth rushing touchdown (trailing only teammate Kamara and Todd Gurley for the lead in total touchdowns; they had 11 each).[132] On December 19, 2017, Ingram was named to his second Pro Bowl alongside Kamara, becoming the first ever pair of running backs from the same team to earn the honors.[133] He finished the regular season with career-highs of 1,124 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, 58 receptions, and 416 receiving yards.[134] He finished sixth in the league in rushing yards, and second in rushing touchdowns behind Todd Gurley.[135] Ingram and Kamara became the first running back duo in NFL history to each have over 1,500 scrimmage yards in the same season. The Saints won the NFC South in the 2017 season. In the Wild Card Round, against the Carolina Panthers, Ingram finished with 22 rushing yards and 13 receiving yards in the 31–26 victory.[136] In the Divisional Round against the Minnesota Vikings, he finished with 25 rushing yards in the 29–24 loss.[137]

2018 season and PED suspension[edit]

On May 8, 2018, Ingram was suspended for the first four games of the season due to violating the policy on performance-enhancing substances.[138]

Career statistics[edit]

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2011 NO 10 4 122 474 3.9 35T 5 11 46 4.2 9 0 1 1
2012 NO 16 5 156 602 3.9 31 5 6 29 4.8 16 0 0 0
2013 NO 11 3 78 386 4.9 34 1 7 68 9.7 23 0 1 0
2014 NO 13 9 226 964 4.3 31 9 29 145 5.0 14 0 3 1
2015 NO 12 10 166 769 4.6 70 6 50 405 8.1 59 0 2 1
2016 NO 16 14 205 1,043 5.1 75T 6 46 319 6.9 22 4 2 2
2017 NO 16 13 230 1,124 4.9 72 12 58 416 7.2 54 0 3 2
Career 94 58 1,183 5,362 4.5 75 44 207 1,428 6.9 59 4 12 7
Source:[139]

References[edit]

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