Ingram & Spartans No Strangers

As a native of Michigan and a player recruited hard by Mark Dantonio and his staff, Mark Ingram is no stranger to several Spartans. Ingram spoke about Saturday's game against Michigan State following a recent bowl practice.

Coming out of Flint (Michigan) Southwestern Academy, many felt Mark Ingram would follow in his father's footsteps and play for Michigan State. However, after a hard recruiting battle, Ingram headed south to play for Alabama and Nick Saban.

However, during the recruiting process, Ingram had a chance to make a few friends that ended up in East Lansing. On Saturday, they'll all collide in what should be a hard fought battle in the Capital One Bowl.

"It's going to be a fun game," Ingram said about Saturday's game against Michigan State. I used to visit Michigan State a lot; it was only about 40 minutes from home. I know a lot of guys that play on their team and we were recruited together and took visits together. It was real close and they came down to my final three."

A couple of those Ingram got to know will be looking to stop him on Saturday.

"I know Jerel Worthy, I ran track and played against Trent Robinson. I know Johnny Adams, the punter (Aaron Bates), he was on a visit with us too. So I remember a lot of them. I don't know a lot of them personally, but I remember a lot of them from my visits and from hanging around with them on those visits."

As many know the ties between the Spartans and Tide go deeper than just Ingram. The Tide running back talked about those who have ties to East Lansing and the excitement they all share going into this game.

"A lot of our coaches have ties there – Coach Williams, Coach McElwain, Mike Vollmar – so there are a lot of close ties for this game and it is exciting for them."

The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner knows the Spartans defense will be out to stop him and the Tide offense.

"They're athletic. They don't make a lot of mistakes. They're very sound on defense. They work together as a team. They play real well together as a team. Our main focus right now is practicing every day, perfection our game plan, learning them more and more every day so we know them inside and out so that we give ourselves the best chance at success."

While the Spartans are sure to key on Ingram, they know Bama is more than just one player, and must play a solid game overall.

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