December 11, 2007

New Tide target emerges

As recruiting season heads into the final stretch, a new target has emerged for the Alabama Crimson Tide in four-star prosepct Mark Ingram. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound athlete from Flint, Michigan received an offer from the Tide in recent weeks and appears to be taking interest in the Tide after receiving some late attention from the UA staff.

"A few weeks ago Coach (Curt) Cignetti came by the high school and told me Alabama was interested in me. He came by the school and had an in-home visit with me. The visit went good. He told me their situation and said they need some difference makers on the offensive side of the ball," Ingram said. "He said I would fit in well with their system. They are trying to get some guys who can play as freshmen and they said that I could possibly do that next year with them."

Head coach Nick Saban's attention was likely drawn to Ingram due to his past relationship with his father, former Michigan State and NFL receiver Mark Ingram who served as an assistant coach under Saban at Michigan State.

"Coach Saban and my dad go way back. He was coaching at Michigan State when my dad was there. Coach Saban called me and told me I had a scholarship offer. We had a good conversation and he told me about Alabama and how much he liked my film," Ingram said. "I was impressed with him. He has a lot of experience and he told me what kind of year they had. They got off to a good start and had some trouble during the final few games but I know they are going to have a great class. They have great coaches and a strong program that is coming up.

"I told them that I was coming January 11 for an official visit and I'm excited about it. Alabama has a lot of prestige and I'm interested to see the campus and get to know the coaches better."

Alabama's late push for Ingram has put the Tide squarely in the mix for the nation's No. 26 athlete prospect.

"So far I have been to Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin. All of those visits were good and about what I expected. I'm going to Alabama for sure and I was looking at Illinois but now I think Tennessee will get that final visit," Ingram said. "I'm originally from Florida and lived in Miami when my dad was with the Dolphins. So going back down South wouldn't bother me at all. My dad told me to take some visits and get a feel for the schools. He said he'd back me where ever I go but he told me to go somewhere that I believe I can play and win a championship."

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