NFL

Mark Ingram Received Emotional Message From Jailed Father on Draft Day

Mark Ingram has a lot of football blood in him. His father, Mark Sr., was a wide receiver for the New York Giants during the late 1980s and early 90s. The younger Ingram had captured the Heisman Trophy in 2009 after a stellar season as a running back with Alabama. During the 2011 NFL draft, he was selected in the first round by the New Orleans Saints. His father couldn’t be there because he was in jail serving a seven-year sentence. He did, however, send a message that had his son in tears.

Mark Ingram Jr.’s football career

RELATED: Mark Ingram’s Dad Went From Super Bowl Champ to Prison Inmate

Mark Ingram Jr. played three years at Alabama with his best season coming during his sophomore season. During his second year with the Crimson Tide, Ingram rushed for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns. He added three more touchdown receptions en route to claiming the Heisman Trophy.

Ingram left Alabama after his junior year when he played in 11 games and scored 13 touchdowns and rushed for 875 yards. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 28th overall pick. He spent the first eight seasons of his professional career with the Saints, making the Pro Bowl twice. His best season came in 2017 when he rushed for a career-high 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Ingram signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2019 and made an immediate impact. He rushed for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games and helped guide the Ravens to the NFL’s best record. Ingram also caught five touchdown passes. He added his third Pro Bowl to his resume in his first year in Baltimore.

Mark Ingram Sr.’s football career and off-the-field problems

Like his son, Mark Ingram Sr. was a first-round NFL selection and was taken with the 28th overall pick. Ingram Sr. was a wide receiver who played his college ball at Michigan State and was selected by the New York Giants in the 1987 NFL draft.

Ingram Sr. became a full-time starter in 1990 when he helped guide the Giants to a Super Bowl victory over the Buffalo Bills. His best season came in 1991when he caught 51 passes for 824 yards. He played 10 seasons in the NFL, the first six with the Giants.

Off the field, Ingram Sr. has his issues. He was arrested in 2008 on fraud and money laundering charges. When he failed to show up and turn himself in December of 2008, a warrant for his arrest was issued. He was arrested in January of 2009 just before he as about to watch his son play in the Sugar Bowl. Two additional years were added to his sentence. He remains in prison after multiple parole violations, according to the New York Post.

Ingram Jr. gets emotional on draft night

After Mark Ingram. Jr. was drafted in the first round by the New Orleans Saints in 2011, he was, like most other drafted players, interviewed on live television. ESPN’s Suzy Kolber congratulated Ingram and then said she received an email from Mark Ingram Sr., who is still serving time, and read it out loud in front of Ingram Jr.

“Son, first of all, I’d like to congratulate you for being a great person and accomplishing your dream of being drafted, and having the opportunity to play professional football,” Kolber read. “You have made me a proud father. I am so proud of the young man you have become.” Ingram Jr., briefly turned away from the camera with tears in his eyes, pulling down his Saints hat over his eyes.

“I want to tell my dad that I love him and that I miss you, dog,” Ingram Jr. said through tears. “You have been a positive influence in my entire life so I just want to say thank you and let you know that I love you, man. We did it.”