More than 140,000 people cast a vote on the EA SPORTS NCAA Football Facebook page during March for the cover of the 2012 version of the video game. This week, former University of Alabama running back and 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram helped make the announcement on ESPN2’s “First Take” that he had won the vote.
The avatar on his Facebook and Twitter page have already been updated to depict the cover of the video game and he thanked his fans on Twitter for making a dream come true.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Ingram told the AP in a phone interview. “It’s a game I’ve been playing since middle school all through high school and even in college. Just the fact that I have a chance to be on the cover of a game is a blessing and something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
The fan favorite gave an emotional speech after winning the Heisman Trophy in 2009.
“First and foremost,” Ingram said with tears in his eyes, “I’d like to thank God. I’m so blessed and without him I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this.”
Ingram, 21, decided to forgo his senior year at Alabama to enter the 2011 NFL draft that will begin Thursday, April 28. He’s projected to be a late first-round pick, and has worked out for the Miami Dolphins as well as visiting the St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints.
He probably would go higher in the draft if he hadn’t injured his left knee, which required arthroscopic surgery on August 31. He said on Tuesday that his knee is 100 percent.
Ingram’s father, Mark Sr., played in the NFL for 10 years and Ingram says his father gave him some advice about heading to the NFL.
“Just keep working hard,” Ingram said on First Take. “Go out there, work hard, watch a lot of film, and just stay humble. Enjoy the process. It’s something that I’ve been working for my whole entire life and just always give God praise and glory first because without him I wouldn’t be here.
“Those are things he always reminds me of.”
The NCAA Football 2012 game goes on sale Tuesday, July 12.