Mark Ingram should change his name. Not the spelling of his name, but just move the space three letters to the right so it becomes “Marking Ram.” Not that there’s anything wrong with Mark Ingram, but it sounds kind of conventional. But then again, so did Emmitt Smith. Barry Sanders, too.
There’s been a lot of conjecture that Ingram might not even be the best running back in Alabama’s backfield, which is ludicrous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slighting Trent Richardson, but those who are making those statements about Trent being better than Ingram are a slight toward the Heisman Trophy winner.
Mark Ingram is a phenomenal talent who runs like a combination of Emmitt and Barry. Trent is a compact rocket and will likely come into his own in this, his sophomore season. It’s entirely possible that Alabama will have two thousand-yard rushers this season, but as far as picking one to be better than the other? It’s just like the old argument of Barry vs. Emmitt, you really can’t say for certain which is the best. Everyone has their opinion, sure, but it all comes down to this: they were both incredible runners.
Ingram runs with a lot of personality whereas Richardson’s style is more understated. Ingram is brash, stomping into the end zone and roaring at the heavens when he scores. Richardson rips of a fifty yarder and he coolly tosses the ball back to the ref. Some analysts like to use the “thunder and lightning” metaphor for running back tandems of bruisers and shifters, but it doesn’t really apply with these two because they can both do either. Although Ingram is much more likely to lower a shoulder and run through a tackle, Richardson has shown that he can run through tackles as well, and both backs can be shifty when they want to.
For my part, I believe Ingram runs more like Smith, and Richardson more like Sanders. In short, as an Alabama fan, it’s comforting to know I have two runners like that in my backfield, runners who can draw comparisons to two of the greatest of all time.
But I still say Marking Ram would be a cool name for a running back…