"Coach Saban recruited my dad."

Luckily for Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, sometimes the apples don't fall far from the tree. "I was really looking hard at Penn State, but my Dad started talking to me a lot about Coach Saban."

"Coach Saban recruited my Dad (at Toledo) and really helped him out," Mike Marrow said. "He told me Coach Saban likes to push you hard to get the best out of you. I liked the idea of playing for the same coach my Dad played for."

In 1990, Nick Saban coached the Toledo Rockets to a 9-2 record and a MAC championship. Mike's father, Vince Marrow, was part of that team. Vince would go on to play nine seasons in the NFL for the Bills, Panthers, Jets, Bears and 49ers.

He played in two Super Bowls for the Buffalo Bills in 1993 and 1994. Mike adds Coach Saban also heavily recruited two of his uncles as defensive backs, so a good relationship was already established with Alabama's head coach and the Marrow family..

Marrow plans to arrive at the Capstone in top playing shape.

"I'm working out with a personal trainer trying to work on my speed, lifting weights, and running," he stated.

In critiquing his game, Marrow thinks he's a lot like another one of Coach Nick Saban's heralded fullbacks.

"I'm like Jacob Hester. I bring the power and can run right through you," said Marrow. "I've talked with Coach (Burton) Burns about being used to catch the ball coming out of the backfield. I've got good hands. I'll also be a blocker, which is one of my strengths."

Mike Marrow measures in at about 6-2, 240.

"I need to keep working on my speed and keep getting stronger, although I think I'm pretty strong already." Marrow has the ability to squat 500 pounds.

As the season approaches Marrow is getting to know some of his future teammates.

"I probably talk to Chance (Warmack) and Rod (Woodson) the most. Chance and I have talked about rooming together."

"I just got my report card and got a 3.0 (GPA). Overall I have a 2.7. I haven't taken the SAT yet."

He's not sure what he'll major in, but likes UA's academics.

"I know I'll get a good education (at Alabama), and that was important to me in making my decision," he added.

On track to qualify academically, Marrow doesn't want to redshirt.

"My expectations are high. I want to play and contribute right away," he said.

If Marrow didn't choose UA, he probably would have stayed in the Midwest.

"Penn Sate and Wisconsin were both recruiting me pretty hard," he commented.

"Bobby Williams is my recruiting coach. He calls me every Thursday night to see how things are going."

At Toledo Central Catholic, Marrow was named part of the 2008 Toledo All-City team as well as All-District. Marrow played defense for Coach Greg Dempsey as well as offense at Central Catholic. Although projected as a fullback on the next level, Marrow has the potential to play outside linebacker.

"I'd like to wear No. 9 at Alabama, and may get the chance since the guy (Nikita Stover) who had it is leaving" said Marrow. "If not I'd like to get No. 13."

It might makes sense as Marrow tries to help the Tide win their 13th National Championship.

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