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Is Trent Richardson or Mark Ingram the Best Running Back in Alabama History?

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2012

Is Trent Richardson or Mark Ingram the Best Running Back in Alabama History?

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    When Mark Ingram won the 2009 Heisman Trophy, he was unquestionably the best running back in the history of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

    No one could have predicted that Ingram's backfield teammate, Trent Richardson, would eventually become a back that was on Ingram's elite level.

    There's a legitimate debate when it comes to which running back is the best in Alabama history. Let's take a look at how these two great runners stack up against each other.

Speed

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    Mark Ingram wasn't really a speed back, he was more of a between-the-tackles power back.

    Trent Richardson is also a strong runner, but he can turn on the burners when he needs to as well.

    Ingram only ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. If Richardson declares for the 2012 NFL Draft, he should demolish Ingram's time.

    Edge: Richardson

Toughness

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    Both Ingram and Richardson are built like bowling balls.

    They both have ideal running back bodies and are nearly impossible to tackle.

    But, Richardson appears to be a little bit more durable than Ingram, who battled injuries in college and now in the NFL.

    Slight Edge: Richardson

Scoring Ability

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    In Ingram's Heisman-winning season, he scored 17 rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns.

    This season, Richardson ran for 21 touchdowns and also had three touchdown catches.

    That gives Richardson a 24-20 edge in scoring.

    Richardson did steal some touchdowns from Ingram in 2009 and 2010, but Richardson has had just as many touchdowns stolen by Eddie Lacy this year, so they are pretty even in terms of touchdown chances.

    Richardson has just capitalized on more chances.

    Edge: Richardson

Receiving

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    Richardson and Ingram are pretty even in terms of receiving ability.

    In Ingrams best season, he had 32 catches for 334 yards and three touchdowns.

    In 2011, Richardson had 29 catches for 338 yards and three touchdowns.

    Those numbers are almost identical. Both are effective receivers, adding to their all-around ability.

    Edge: Push

Conclusion

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    Clearly, Trent Richardson has the edge over Mark Ingram as the best running back in Alabama history.

    They've both led the Crimson Tide to a National Championship. Ingram has a Heisman, but he won it in a slow year for college football.

    Overall, Richardson is the better all-around running back. He's faster, stronger, healthier and just as good as a receiver.

    If Richardson declares for the NFL Draft this year, he'll go down in history as Alabama's best running back.

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