Alford ready to contribute

Arizona commit Mario Alford is expecting to step in and contribute next year. Read on for his thoughts on those contributions, and injury he suffered, and more.

With the departure of Daniel Jenkins, the backup running back position has gone from a strength to somewhat of a question mark.

The UA staff is looking for one of the players on the roster or an incoming recruit to take over Jenkins' role.

Georgia Military Academy athlete Mario Alford appears to be in solid position to take over the backup running back spot or at least contribute there.

Alford, who graduated from high school in 2011, will come to Arizona more mature physically and mentally than the average football recruit. In addition, he has been told that he will be used in a variety of ways.

However, before Alford steps on the field, he must finish rehabbing an ankle injury suffered earlier this year.

"It's getting better," Alford said. "It's frustrating because I want to be training to get better, but I first have to take care of my ankle so there are no setbacks. The ankle is tricky because it has to be healthy to run the way I want."

The UA coaching staff has remained in consistent contact with Alford.

"I talk to the coaches when it is allowed," Alford said. "It's a cool staff and they check in just to make sure everything is going alright."

Alford feels he will be ready to contribute once he gets to Tucson.

"The last couple years have helped me become better," Alford said. "I'm stronger and quicker and I'm just a better football player.

"The plan is to get healthy and then get down to Arizona and try to impress the coaches."

In terms of what he will be using to impress the coaches, Alford believes that his speed is his biggest asset.

"I feel I have pretty good quickness and speed, so I'm really trying to get stronger," he said. "Division I college football is much different and I've got to continue to get better and stronger, so I can hopefully make an impact once I get there."

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