Repeating Dad's Steps on Field, Not Off

Heisman hopeful Mark Ingram, Jr. doesn't want to make the same mistakes as his father.
Heisman hopeful Mark Ingram, Jr. doesn't want to make the same mistakes as his father.

In the biggest game of his life Saturday, Alabama running back Mark Ingram had perhaps the best game of his life, scoring three touchdowns against top-ranked Florida and turning himself into a Heisman trophy favorite.

For the fabled program once run by the legendary Bear Bryant - producing Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler - Ingram , reports CBS News Correspondent Jeff Glor.

"Crazy that I might be able to bring the program the first Heisman trophy," Ingram told Glor. "It's a dream come true."

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Watching it all is his proud father, Mark Ingram Sr.

"I think it was about the 6th grade he came to me and said, 'Daddy I'm going to be a better football player than you,'" the elder Ingram told Glor.

Nineteen-year-old Mark Jr. learned the game from his dad beginning at age 3. Mark Sr., a 10-year NFL pro and a 1991 Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, was a tough-love teacher.

Mark Ingram Sr. Roots for His Son From Jail
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"He used to be so hard on me all the time, so rough on me and I didn't really understand it, and he always said that I would love him for it later," Mark Jr. told Glor. "Now that I'm getting older, I kind of understand it."

"They know when Alabama's on TV," Mark Sr. told Glor. "Everybody gives me the remote and we watch my son play."

Mark Sr. has to share that remote with his fellow inmates because he watches his son's games not in person but in prison. Waiting to be formally sentenced on bank fraud and money laundering charges, Mark Sr. was captured as a fugitive early this year. He now faces 10 years behind bars.

This week from inside the New York City jail where he's being held, he spoke out about his son's remarkable accomplishments for the first time.

"He has to be his own person, be his own man, take and learn from what I've done by the mistakes that I've made," Mark Sr. told Glor.

And he has. The sophomore made the dean's list and is scheduled to graduate a year early.

Father and son still talk three to four times a week for 30 minutes at a time, all the time Mark Sr. gets. Mark Jr. has tried following the lessons his father taught the right way, not repeating what Dad did wrong.

"I know he's going through a tough situation, and everything's not always easy, and just the fact that I can bring that joy to him is real special to me," Mark Jr. told Glor.

Each man says no one is more important in his life than the other.

"He's not only my father, he's my best friend too," Mark Jr. told Glor.

"I'll be there, I mean, in spirit," Mark Sr. told Glor. "I know that the success he has had I had a hand in it."

In January, Mark Jr. will play for the national championship. At such a young age, on his shoulders he carries a team, newfound stardom and the legacy and spirit of a troubled father, a man who ran from his troubles while a son will try to run through them.