When Auburn defensive lineman Antonio Carter chased down Alabama Crimson Tide Heisman Trophy running back Mark Ingram from behind and punched out the ball for a turnover in the 2010 Iron Bowl, I was impressed with the speed and hustle of Antonio Carter.
Now, after Mark Ingram runs an incredibly slow 4.62 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, I am still impressed with Antonio Carter's hustle but not necessarily his speed.
I never really understood how Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2009 as the best player in college football.
The Heisman Trophy should be renamed "The Best Player on the Best Team Award" as that is what it has become over the past few years.
But even then you wonder if Mark Ingram is deserving of the award, as many Crimson Tide fans said Ingram was not even the best player on the team that year, (see Rolando McClain) and was not even the best running back on the team, (see Trent Richardson).
It seemed that the voters got caught up in the fact that Alabama never had a Heisman Trophy winner in their history, and they were determined to give it to a Tide player in 2009.
Compare the love Mark Ingram received in 2009 to the hatred Cam Newton endured in 2010.
There seemed to be sympathy votes for Ingram because his father, Mark Ingram Sr., was sentenced to jail on charges of bank fraud and money laundering. Compare that to the media outrage when Cecil Newton made an appearance in the stadium "after" the game to congratulate his son.
When Mark Ingram scored a touchdown against Texas in the BCS Championship game, the announcers said with joy "Attaboy Mark, do it for Daddy!" Compare that to Mr. SEC Tony Barnhart who said that if he is guilty, there is a special place in hell reserved for Cecil Newton.
Take a hard look at Mark Ingram's statistics for 2009:
He did not finish in the top ten nationally in rushing yards per game, was outside of the top 30 for all-purpose yards, was 19th in scoring and, perhaps most shocking, was outside of the top 100 in offensive yards!
It is hard to believe that after he was held to 30 yards rushing in the Iron Bowl, he still won the Heisman.
Ingram followed up his Heisman Trophy winning year with 875 yards rushing and only had two games of 100 yards or more.
He more than made up for his Iron Bowl showing in 2009 by rushing for a grand total of 36 yards and being involved in the play that turned the game around when he was chased down from behind by a defensive lineman.
I guess we can all see now that we cannot blame Mark Ingram for his lack of hustle—apparently he was running as fast as he could.
"Buyer Beware" to any NFL team that wants to draft Mr. Ingram!