December 31, 2007

Ingram set for UA visit

It isn't a surprise that the Alabama coaching staff has taken their search for talented football recruits outside of the southeast to wrap up their 2008 signing class, but when news broke that the Tide had offered running back Mark Ingram from Flint, Michigan, people probably thought the move was a little random. Ingram, however, is an athlete worth the geographic stretch with great speed in a 5-foot-10, 200-pound compact frame.

Ingram's father also played for Michigan State while Tide Coach Nick Saban was the Defensive Coordinator at the school in the '80's so upon further review, the decision to offer the four-star athlete doesn't look so odd. But does the Tide have a legitimate shot at landing his signature?

"Right now, I am open to any possibility," said Ingram, who rushed for around 2,000 yards in just nine games as a senior. "My dad told me to be sure to check Alabama out. I lived in Florida for seven years, so moving away isn't a big deal for me. At the same time, staying close to home wouldn't be that bad either. Geography isn't really going to factor in at all."

Ingram's father moved on to have a great NFL career following his playing days at Michigan State. He is best known for his remarkable third down reception in Super Bowl XXV in which he broke several tackles to pick up 14 yards when he needed 13.

Does the younger Ingram have a little of his father's game in him despite playing different positions?

"We are similar in that we are both shifty with good feet," said Ingram. "But I am stockier and physical. He was pretty strong too, but we have different games. I have seen his highlights from college and the NFL, but when I was younger, I accidently taped over a lot of them. He wasn't real happy about that."

With a visit date set for January 11 to Tuscaloosa, Ingram expects his recruiting outlook to clear up significantly upon returning home as Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin are also battling the Tide for his services.

Ingram has previously visited each of his other favorites on officials and expects a decision to come very soon after his final official to Alabama.

"When I get back from Alabama, I should know something," said Ingram. "If the trip doesn't go as well as expected, that would make it easier on me I suppose, but I am really looking forward to going to Alabama on this visit. Coach Saban was real straight with me and they are looking for backs with power and speed. He thinks I would be a perfect fit for their offense."

Ingram was recently added to the Rivals250 list and is the 18th-ranked athlete nationally.

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