Mark Ingram is the son of former NFL wide receiver Mark Ingram, Sr. Both father and son were drafted number 28 overall.
Both Mark Ingram and his father played high school football in Flint, Michigan. Mark Ingram, Sr. played college ball at Michigan State where he was coached by college assistant, Nick Saban, and his son subsequently played college ball for Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. (Little known facts about Mark Ingram, Jr., he played cornerback in high school and was a track and field star).
Mark Ingram, Sr. played for the New York Giants (1987-1992), the Miami Dolphins (1993-1994), the Green Bay Packers (1995), and the Philadelphia Eagles (1996). He had a memorable third down play in Super Bowl XXV in which he slipped past Buffalo Bills defenders to make a critical first down for the Giants to sustain a long touchdown drive. He was the Giants top receiver in that Super Bowl with five catches for 77 yards.
As a Miami Dolphin, in an infamous play against the New York Jets, Dan Marino fake spiked the ball to stop the clock and hit Ingram for the game winning touchdown. Ingram caught four touchdown passes from Dan Marino in that game.
Mark Ingram, Sr. did not retire to fame and glory. He is a troubled soul. On September 16, 2008, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for money laundering and fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Denis R. Hurley noted his rap sheet includee seven previous convictions and goes back 23 years. Ingram’s lawyer asked the judge to postpone the prison term until February 2009 so the former wide receiver could watch his son play as a freshman in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. The judge said a five-month delay was excessive and set a December date for incarceration. His sentencing was delayed as he tried to revoke the plea, fired several court-appointed attorneys and made what prosecutors termed “outlandish” legal arguments, including a claim that he was immune from prosecution because he enjoyed diplomatic status as a head of state. Ingram failed to show up to a federal prison in Ashland, Kentucky to turn himself in on December 5, 2008, and an arrest warrant was issued for him. On January 2, 2009, Ingram was arrested in a Flint, Michigan hotel room, where he was preparing to watch his son play in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Alabama lost the game to the Utah Utes 31-17. Ingram was sentenced to an additional two years in prison for jumping bail to see his son play for Alabama.
From 2011 through 2012, Ingram wore Jersey #28 in honor of his father and their draft legacy. In 2013, Ingram changed to Jersey #22, his Alabama college jersey number. He is Alabama’s only Heisman award winner, and the second Heisman winner running back selected by the New Orleans Saints after Reggie Bush. However, unlike Bush, Mark Ingram is the first running back since Deuce McAllister to eclipse nearly 1,000 yards in a season and play in a Pro Bowl. Mark Ingram is going places on the Saints offense.
In 2013, the Saints switched offensive line coordinators and from a strictly man blocking scheme to a mixture of man and zone blocking scheme. The new offensive line coach was the Saints former running backs coach, Bret Ingalls. Ingalls took over from a very successful Aaron Kromer (who now is the offensive line coordinator for Rex Ryan’s Buffalo Bills). Not only was the switch to Ingalls a natural progression, but also Ingalls had served as Sean Payton’s offensive coordinator at San Diego State and shaped the college success of Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk. The switch to a zone blocking scheme was paramount for Mark Ingram’s success. Ingram is a running back with vision and lateral quickness who ran successfully behind the Alabama Crimson Tide’s zone blocking scheme (ZBS). (Ingram is not the only Alabama back to succeed behind a ZBS. Eddie Lacy has benefited from it in Green Bay, but Trent Richardson who runs behind a man scheme in Indianapolis has not).
The 2014 season saw a healthy Mark Ingram and a renewed vigor behind the combination man and zone blocking scheme employed by the Saints. He rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and made it to the Pro Bowl. This is game film from the 2014 Green Bay game in which you can see all Ingram brings to the table for a renewed 2015 season.
Mark Ingram will take every opportunity to leave a proud legacy for all of his family to enjoy.