I continue down my rabbit hole of rankings various miscellaneous Alabama-themed tidbits or opinions this week with “surprising facts.”
Although, to be honest, these really aren’t ‘ranked’ — more like just random pieces of information I found surprising. You may not. I don’t know. Read on to see…
Mark Ingram a much better NFL player than you think
Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy winner has always been much maligned. He won the aforementioned coveted college award in a season that didn’t have a lot of great candidates. He also had a less-than-stellar game against Auburn in 2009 and a rather infamous seeing-eye fumble against those same Tigers in 2010. He was seriously doubted as an NFL player when he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the Spring of 2011 and when he signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent years later. Ahh, but Ingram is having the last laugh it seems. Quietly- and incredibly- Mark Ingram has amassed 7,025 rushing yards as a pro player. That’s good for the 64th best total in NFL history! Assuming Ingram can simply repeat his total from last year (1,018 yards), he will move up to no worse than 52nd in league history. Given the short life spans of pro running backs these days, Ingram is still going very strong in his tenth season and I suspect he may be headed for a 10,000-yard career. That would be an astounding accomplishment.
Will Harris be all-time rusher?
Najee Harris has a chance to be Alabama’s all-time leading rusher. Umm, whodathunkit, right? Harris came to ’Bama with as much hype as any RB in recent history, but it has always seemed like he has been over-shadowed by ’Bama’s dynamic passing game and plethora of other highly capable backs. It shocked me, then, to discover Harris is only 1215 yards away from eclipsing the all-time mark in Tuscaloosa held by Derrick Henry. Obviously, Harris will need a full season to hit that record (he gained 1,224 yards last year), but assuming ’Bama does play 14 or 15 games that goal can easily be met by a player of Harris’ caliber. Even weirder, Harris has tallied his yards while being the opposite of a home-run hitter. The longest run of Harris’ ‘Bama CAREER is only 35 yards (in 387 carries no less), but he averages a very impressive 6.2 yards a carry! He is the very definition of a work horse.
Eight of the top 10 wide receivers in Alabama history played under Nick Saban
This stat isn’t that nutty considering how well Saban recruits and given the pass-it-all-over-the-yard nature of the game today, but it is still eye-opening. Yes, DJ Hall is on this list and he technically only had one year under Saban, but it was a dang good one and it counts. After 2020, it may be 9/10 as Jaylen Waddle will surely crack the list.
Wild fact from North Korea
Not Tide related but…. In North Korea, the basketball rules are a little different than here in the States. A dunk is worth three points and a three-pointer that doesn’t touch the net is worth four points. Meanwhile, a basket made in the last three seconds of a game is worth a whopping eight points! Again, that has nothing to do with Alabama, but it is wild regardless.
Luke Robinson is a regular columnist, contributor to BMetro, AHSAA Radio Network broadcaster and Sportz Blitz team member.