Alabama Lands Big Time Running Back

Mark Ingram, three-star running back from Flint-Southwestern Academy, (Mi.), will leave the state of Michigan to begin his own legacy in the SEC. Ingram has an incredible blend of size, speed and power, and he is eager to join a class aiming to stay No.1 throughout the day on National Signing Day.

"I am going to 'Bama," Mark Ingram informed Tuesday evening. "I thought about it over the weekend and decided it's what I want to do. It's the best situation for me. It was a long hard decision, but I am going. It's off my shoulders."

"I told the Alabama coaches at half-time of the Super Bowl. Coach [Nick] Saban was with the new offensive coordinator [Jim McElwain] and coach [Burton] Burns. They were real excited. Coach Saban said he had never seen coach Burns so happy in his life."

"The situation was best for me. I love the tradition at Alabama. The 12 National Championships, the 21 SEC Championships. I just had a gut feeling. I have to follow my gut. It's a great situation football and academic wise. I get along with all the players down there."

"It's not tough for me to leave the state. From the beginning I said I wanted to do what was best for me. I found that place at Alabama."

"I have a good relationship with the players and other commitments. I am real close to Robby Green and Damian Square."

"Coach Saban is putting together a special class. They are all about winning championships, and I want to help bring that championship to them."

"Coach Saban is real excited. He is glad I decided to come to Alabama. They got in kind of late in the recruitment, but that's no problem. I just hope I can contribute early."

"They have some good backs like Glenn Coffee, Terry Grant and Roy Upchurch. They also have some good backs coming in this class. Hopefully I can learn from them, and we can all contribute."

"Coach Saban is one of the best football recruiters in the country. He can get players year in and year out. You can just look at this year's recruiting class. It's going to be No.1 in the country. People aren't too fond of him at Michigan State, but I think he is a great guy. He is going to get the best out of you."

"I love all the coaches. I never wore my name tag when I went down there for a visit, and they all knew who I was. They welcomed me in with open arms. They have said they will always have their door open whenever I needed them. I love that welcoming factor. They will always be there for me."

"I am real close with coach [Curt] Cignetti, coach Burns and Coach Saban. My dad has known coach Saban for a while."

His father, Mark Ingram Sr., played college football for Michigan State and was an NFL first round draft pick by the New York Giants. The former NFL receiver is happy with his son's college choice.

"My dad thinks it's a great decision for me," Ingram said. "It's the best football conference in the country. He has told me coach Saban has been a winner everywhere he has been. He is going to have us playing in the BCS national championship game in a few years. It's the best opportunity for me."

Ingram (5-10, 200) rushed for over 1,700 yards and 24 touchdowns during his senior season. He maintains a 3.2 GPA and scored an 18 on the ACT.

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