June 30, 2008

10 Impact Signees: Marcel Dareus

With Alabama drawing the Rivals.com No.1-ranked signing class in the nation last February, anticipation runs high among fans waiting to see how an especially gifted group of newcomers melds with a group of veterans with some obvious depth concerns. BamaOnLine.com bridges the 'dog days' of summer with a countdown of 10 signees - published in ascending order - who could have the most impact on the 2008 season. The listing is influenced by the Crimson Tide's depth at the positions they are expected to play, not just prep credentials.

#10 - Mark Ingram

Position: Defensive line.
Size: 6-3, 292 pounds.
High school: Houston Yates.
Rivals.com rating:

The film room: Although Square worked out of a four-man front at Yates, he is well-suited to the three-man front employed by the Crimson Tide with his bullish rushing style and ability to get off blocks. Square told BOL he was up to 292 pounds as of May, and the added weight will serve him well when he is challenged with defending a gap rather than simply rushing off the edge. He is a hustle player, which is difficult to find at his size, and uses his hands well.

Climbing the depth chart: Starter Bobby Greenwood enters his fourth year of playing time and his experience can't be replaced by a freshman. And before Greenwood is even in the conversation, Square must first contend with backup Alfred McCullough, who was one of UA's more pleasant spring surprises after a move to from noseguard to defensive end. McCullough closed the spring in the second unit behind Greenwood. If it doesn't happen right away for Square, that doesn't mean it won't happen by season's end. Fans may recall Greenwood himself earned marginal playing time early in his freshman year but was on the field much more by the end of it.

What will make it tough: Setting aside the fact that the offensive linemen Square will face in fall camp are on an entirely different level than those he handled in high school, the competition at his projected position won't be a cakewalk, either. UA DL coach Bo Davis is a stickler for technique, something freshmen don't always pick up right away.

Tim Watts' take: xxx.

See Square here: Rivals.com video

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