January 23, 2008

Ingram sets announcement

While most of the Alabama recruiting focus from a fan standpoint is on remaining in-state targets, the Tide is still in hot pursuit of a few out-of-state gems. One of the top offensive prospects on the board is Flint Southwestern Academy running back Mark Ingram, who visted the Capstone the weekend before last and took a last minute trip to Arizona State last weekend.

With Signing Day now two weeks away, what is the latest on the 5-foot-10, 210-pounder?

"Mark is tenatively going to make his announcement at 9 a.m. on Signing Day," said Flint Southwestern Coach Gary Lee. "We have a bunch of kids signing with schools on that date, and while we thought for awhile Mark would make a decision earlier, he has decided to just go ahead and announce the day he signs. His mom is traveling on business and that bumped his remaining coach's visits he had planned. He will probably call the coaches a day or two in advance and let them know his decision."

Ingram has hinted strongly in recent interviews that he may be leaning to Alabama. Is Ingram still feeling good vibes about the Tide?

"He absolutely loved his visit to Tuscaloosa and his family really enjoyed meeting Coach Saban, but it is hard to pinpoint any favorites right now because they are all doing such a good job recruiting him," said Lee. "I think Alabama has made a great impression late. Of course, there is a heavy Michigan State presence here and a lot of pressure for him to stay around here but he certainly isn't getting that from me or his family. I try not to influence him at all where to go and his family has already given their blessing that he can go where ever he thinks is the best fit for him.

"We aren't talking about a typical kid. Mark is mature beyond his years. He is more of a man as a teenager than a lot of the grown men you see around these days. He will take a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of each school before he pulls the trigger."

Arizona State, Wisconsin and Iowa are also in the mix for Ingram's services. Coaches from Iowa along with staff members from Michigan State and Alabama were on hand Monday to watch Ingram at a local track meet.

Ingram indicated in a recent interview that Arizona State probably got in too late to get in the mix.

"Whatever Mark decides, he has a bright future ahead of him," said Lee. "He is a great student with a great family and has been raised right. If he did decide to go out of state, he would succeed just like he would if he stayed close to home because he is a mature, independent kid."

Ingram will entertain in-home visits from the Michigan State and Wisconsin staffs before making a decision.

Ingram is a four-star prospect and the 17th-ranked player overall nationally.

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