February 2, 2008
UA staff visits Ingram!
Alabama head coach Nick Saban's ties to the state of Michigan have helped the Crimson Tide to make a late charge at Flint Southwestern Academy athlete Mark Ingram and earlier this week the Tide coaching staff visited the four-star athlete to try and seal the deal with the elite prospect.
"Coach (Burton) Burn and (Curt) Cignetti came to see me Thursday. We met for a while and it went pretty good. I like them both and they explained their situation and how I fit it. They told me I had a great opportunity to play next year at Alabama," Ingram said. "They went over the offensive philosophies of the new offensive coordinator and how he planned to use me. They said some things I really liked especially the part about getting me out wide on passing downs."
Ingram's relationship with Saban has been the key to the Tide's late run at landing Ingram's signature.
"I've been talked to Coach Saban a lot this week. I've been calling him and he has answered all my questions. He's a straight forward coach and I like that style," Ingram said. "He told me I had a chance to come in and be part of the great class in Alabama history. He said this class could be the best in Alabama history and the cornerstone for the their next national championship. That would mean something to me.
"I know Alabama landed Alonzo Lawrence yesterday and guys like Julio (Jones) and Jerrell Harris could make the class very special."
The Tide coaches weren't the only visitors Ingram received last week as several Big 10 coaching staffs continue to pursue the elite recruit, rated as the No. 6 player from the state of Michigan.
"Coach (Mark) Dantonio came to see me. We had a good talk. He reinforced everything he had told me before and went over their situation and where I would fit in if I go there. There wasn't anything really knew because we have talked so many times but it was a good visit," Ingram said. "Coach (Dennis) Erickson from Arizona State and Coach (Bret) Bielema from Wisconsin also came. There wasn't anything new and all the meetings were about the same. They wanted to make sure me and my parents knew where I stood with them.
"All the schools that made my list fit my criteria so that was never in question. The final meetings were just a chance to get a feel for everyone on a personal level."
Heading into the final few days before signing day, Ingram said he is close to a final decision but will use the weekend to think things over.
"I've made some big changes to my recruitment but I'm not ready to announce them yet. I think people will be surprised. I've also decided to try and change my announcement date to Monday or Tuesday. I'm going to talk to my athletic director about that but I'm ready to get this behind me," Ingram said. "As things stand now I don't have a decision but I'm going to hopefully by tomorrow. Tonight I'm meeting with my parents and we will discuss everything.
"All the schools have great academic and athletic programs so now I'm going where I have the chance to fit in the best and win a championship. I'm going to go with my gut and choose the school I feel the most comfortable with."
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