TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama running back Mark Ingram took a few steps into the media room Tuesday evening before he stopped and stared.
Before him was a mannequin wearing his No. 22 jersey, but not a traditional version of Alabama’s Saturday attire.
The plastic model was sporting the Nike “Pro Combat” jersey that the Crimson Tide will wear Saturday when Mississippi State comes to Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Though not as radically different from the regular jersey, the special version that’ll be worn one game only has a few subtle deviations.
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Most notable is the houndstooth numbering and helmet stripe that pays tribute to Bear Bryant’s favorite hat.
“The tradition and classiness makes Alabama what it is, but we don’t really don’t mind the change,” Ingram said. “I think a lot of the guys like it so far.”
One of the other highlights is the gloves adorned with the script-A on the palm that Ingram made famous after scoring a touchdown in January’s BCS National Championship Game.
The fabric is also lighter than other jerseys and an American flag is stitched on the right shoulder to honor veterans of military service. The stars on the flag face forward, per military protocol.
“It’s kind of different, but I’m excited at the same time,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said. “I was looking forward to a uniform change over the years, so I’m looking forward to wearing those Saturday.”
The Michigan Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution last week to rename a stretch of a state highway near Ingram’s home after the Alabama running back.
The M-21 highway near Flint, Mich., soon could be called the “Mark V. Ingram II Freeway” — if the bill gets the support of the Michigan House and governor.
“That’s weird,” Ingram said, smiling wide. “I might go home and ride on my own highway. That’s crazy.”
Running back Trent Richardson was limited in practice for the second straight day Tuesday after suffering an unspecified minor knee injury Saturday at LSU.
He was not wearing the black non-contact jersey during the media viewing period, but he was not practicing at full strength.
“He comes out, walks around and rides the bike and things like that,” Ingram said. “He’s just trying to get loosened up.”
So will he play Saturday against Mississippi State?
“I’m not sure,” Ingram said. “That’s up to him and the training staff.”