Signee Spotlight: Mike Marrow

Mike Marrow brings a unique dynamic to the Tide's 2009 signee class. Coach Nick Saban signed a relatively under-the-radar running back named Mark Ingram from a geographic region within proximity to Marrow who hails from Toledo, Ohio. The scope of coach Saban's recruiting had obviously expanded.

Mike Marrow is waiting for the 2009 season to start. He isn't the type of prospect who necessarily has Bama fans salivating. He isn't going to create a D.J. Fluker-type buzz because let's face it, H-Back is perhaps the least glorified position on the football field. But don't tell Mike Marrow that.

Marrow is ready to lace up his cleats, strap on the helmet, and run over someone. At 6-1.5, 250, he's not a small guy. Add that weight to a 4.7-40 yard dash, and you have a potent force.

Marrow realizes he is a mere true freshman who will have to beat out a few guys on the depth chart, but his football skill set brings a dynamic angle to the H-Back position.

Coach Saban is excited about having an H-Back with great hands who can catch the ball out of the backfield, block, and run down hill.

Marrow says bring on the pain. He's ready to lower his shoulder and run someone over. He's ready to be "the man" on third and short. He wants to come in and help his team pick up a critical first down.

Marrow knows he is joining a team which is a missing link or two away from greatness and wants to make his own personal contributions.

Remember the Clemson game last season, where subsequent to being taken to the woodshed, Tommy Bowden said he couldn't cover tight end Nick Walker?

Alabama's offense is a relatively simple equation. If the offensive line blocks, then the Tide will put more skill position players on the field than you can cover.

Just imagine how tough an assignment Alabama's offense will become with a H-Back who constitutes a multi-faceted offensive threat. Much like Walker in the Clemson game, Marrow has the ability as the one man on the field who the defense forgets to cover.

When the defense tries to check down on Julio Jones, Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram, Marquis Maze, and Co. it will become apparent Marrow will get open. Alabama will simply have too many weapons on the field at once.

One of Marrow's good friends has an infinitely greater weight on his shoulders. He feels confident his buddy D.J. Fluker can start immediately at left tackle which would allow James Carpenter to slide to right guard and complete an offensive line which has a luxuriously high ceiling.

Coach Saban's system is conducive to true freshmen getting playing time, especially at positions where his recruiting prowess has yet to create significant depth.

It's a fact coach Saban will play the best player at each position, and as true freshmen D.J. Fluker and Mike Marrow have big time challenges to man up to. Both seem to have their heads in the right place, if they can combine that with their God-given athletic ability. Watch out for the Alabama offense in 2009.

One-on-one with fullback Mike Marrow:

Height: 6-foot-1 and a half
Weight: 250 pounds
40-yard time: 4.7 seconds

Off-season workouts:
"I'm just doing stuff that they give us in the Alabama workbook. I'm also doing different types of sprints. Everything's been going pretty well. I'm learning a lot, because there's a lot of different stuff in the workbook. It's pretty intense."

Academic status:
"I'm cleared to attend Alabama. I'm not sure what my final overall GPA is, but I know I got a 3.3 in my last quarter. I can't remember what my ACT score was off the top of my head."

When he'll arrive at 'Bama:
"I'll be attending the first summer term, and will arrive (on campus) May 31st. I think it's important to get to school as early as possible, because it allows us to get into shape early. We also get a head start on college with summer school, which allows us to adjust sooner instead of coming in July or August."

Potential roommates:
"Probably Chance Warmack and Darius McKeller. I'm pretty sure that one will be Chance, but I'm not sure about the other."

Why he chose Alabama:
"I love how, when I visited Alabama, they really make you feel at home. Coach Saban really made me feel like this was where I wanted to be. All the fans are nice. Everything at Alabama, including the academics, I liked."

The position he'll play:
"It's kind of hard to explain. They've told me they want me to be their 'big back.' The coaches have said to come in ready to play. They say I'm a good blocker, and I can catch the ball in the backfield. Height-wise, I'm their biggest back right now I think."

Communication with coaches:
"I talk to Coach Bobby Williams some. He was the coach that recruited me. He mainly just calls to check up on me really."

Graduation party:
"It's nothing too big. I sent out a Facebook message letting everyone know I would be going to Alabama though."

Advice for future prospects in regards to the recruiting process:
"Just make sure you work out a lot and stay in shape. Also, keep on top of your grades so you don't have to be fighting at the end to become eligible. Take good notes and listen to your teachers."

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