April 19, 2011
Mark Ingram asked for your vote, and — shockingly — the same fan base that showed up 92,000 strong for a glorified practice over the weekend has put him over the top: The former Heisman winner and soon-to-be first-round draft pick is the official choice to grace the cover of this year's edition of the NCAA Football video game series, following Shaun Alexander as the second Alabama running back turned cover boy. ('Bama follows Florida, Michigan, Texas and USC as the only schools with two stars on the cover; Alexander and former Pitt star Larry Fitzgerald are the only players to make the cover of NCAA Football and its more popular NFL counterpart, Madden.) Ingram's first major marketing triumph comes after he outpolled Washington quarterback Jake Locker, Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray and Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley in an online vote.
Cam Newton? Auburn's reigning Heisman winner/BCS hero was deemed too scandalous for EA Sports' blood. But a Heisman Trophy winner/national champion is a Heisman Trophy winner/national champion, even if he is a year removed from the glory — in fact, the slightly delayed homage is becoming something of a tradition in this line.
The game is in stores July 12. No word on whether they've fixed the blown blocking assignments, or suction blocking, or time-shift blocking, or treadmill jogging, or the warp zone opposing linebackers enter to intercept passes over the middle, or DBs jumping the receivers' routes, or the many, many, many persistent glitches that litter every new version of the game. They did, however, screw around with the lighting and put the Oregon Duck on the back of a motorcycle, though, so there's always that.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.