Mark Ingram, the 2009 Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press, shattered the Alabama single-season rushing record with 1,542 yards this season and 15 rushing touchdowns. The Flint, Michigan, native 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.
His 246 yards rushing against South Carolina on October 17 is the most ever in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Ingram finished just 28 points ahead of California running back Toby Gerhart, the closest Heisman Trophy vote in history.
He was a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award, and Walter Camp Player of the Year. He was also named to the 2009 AFCA and Walter Camp All-America teams, and was a first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC Coaches and Associated Press.
Other finalists were Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Nebraska nose tackle Ndamukong Suh, and Gerhart.
Ingram said it was “great to join the Heisman fraternity” and said that he was “excited to bring Alabama its first Heisman Trophy.”
He thanked God, his teammates (“especially my offensive line”), his family, Head Coach Nick Saban, Offensive Coordinator Jim McElwain, Running Backs Coach Burton Burns, Athletics Director Mal Moore, and University President Dr. Robert E. Witt, who were in attendance. He added his thanks to members of the sports information office, training staff, strength and conditioning staff, “and my teachers.”
The award was presented at the New York Athletic Club in New York with a full house that included most previous Heisman Trophy winners.
Ingram and his Alabama teammates will meet McCoy and the Texas Longhorns for the national championship in the BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 7.
Previous Alabama Heisman Trophy finishers:
Halfback Joe Kilgrow, 1937, fifth; tailback Harry Gilmer, 1945 fifth and 1947 fifth; quarterback Pat Trammell, 1961 fifth; linebacker Lee Roy Jordan, 1962, fourth; quarterback Steve Sloan, 1965, tenth; halfback Johnny Musso, 1971, fourth; quarterback Terry Davis, 1972, fifth; quarterback Steadman Shealy, 1979, tenth; quarterback Walter Lewis, 1983, ninth; linebacker Cornelius Bennett, 1986, seventh; tailback Bobby Humphrey, 1987, tenth; linebacker Derrick Thomas, 1988, tenth; defensive end Eric Curry, 1992, tenth; wide receiver David Palmer, 1983, third; quarterback Jay Barker, 1994, fifth; and tailback Shaun Alexander, 1999, seventh.