SEC: Heisman09

Heisman voters got this one right

December, 12, 2009
12/12/09
10:11
PM ET
The next time somebody tells you that the Heisman Trophy is nothing more than an overhyped award that lost its luster a long time ago, mention the name Mark Ingram.

AP Photo/Kelly KlineMark Ingram became the first player in Alabama history to win the Heisman trophy.




There was no hiding his emotion Saturday in the Nokia Theatre. He slowly exhaled several times, doing his best to compose himself. His voice cracked, and then he cried.

Admittedly overwhelmed, Ingram thanked everyone -- Nick Saban, his parents, his teammates, his sports information directors, even his teachers at Alabama.

He understood unequivocally how historic the moment was in the realm of Alabama’s proud football history.

Of all the great players who’d come before him – Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Ozzie Newsome, Cornelius Bennett, Lee Roy Jordan and Shaun Alexander – Ingram became the first Alabama player to hoist the Heisman Trophy as his own.

Sure, there probably have been better players to come through Alabama than Ingram, the third straight sophomore to win college football’s most prestigious individual award.

But I can’t imagine there’s been one who went from role player to great player any quicker or one who’s consistently performed any better on the biggest stages than Ingram has this season. After all, he wasn't even a starter a year ago.

In five games against top 25 teams this season, Ingram averaged 165 yards per game in wins over No. 1 Florida, No. 7 Virginia Tech, No. 9 LSU, No. 20 Ole Miss and No. 22 South Carolina. He faced six of the top 28 defenses nationally and averaged 154 yards in those six contests.

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Alabama's Ingram wins Heisman

December, 12, 2009
12/12/09
8:58
PM ET
Running back Mark Ingram became the first Alabama player to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday.

AP Photo/Kelly KlineMark Ingram became the first player in Alabama history to win the Heisman trophy.




Ingram, who rushed for 1,542 yards, an Alabama record, and 15 touchdowns, led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season and a berth in the BCS national championship game.

The 2009 Heisman race was the closest in history. Ingram becomes just the third sophomore to win the trophy, but the third in a row following Tim Tebow in 2007 and Sam Bradford in 2008.

Stanford running back Toby Gerhart finished second, just 28 points behind.

Click here for all of college football's major award winners this season.video

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