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EA Sports cover model Ingram says his knee is ready to go

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Mark Ingram enters the NFL draft armed with a Heisman Trophy, a BCS national championship and his picture on the cover of a popular video game.

The University of Alabama running back says he'll also bring two healthy knees.

Ingram said Tuesday reports that NFL teams are concerned about his surgically repaired left knee are based on "false information" with the draft looming April 28-30.

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"I don't know where the reports have come from," the 2009 Heisman winner said in a telephone interview following an announcement that he'll be on the cover of EA Sports' "NCAA Football 12" video game. "I guess somebody wants me to fall down the board. But my knee is 100 percent. It's strong, it's healthy. All the teams have positive reports on my knee, and Dr. (James) Andrews has given positive reports on my knee as well.

"My knee's 100 percent. It's in great shape. All those reports are false information."

Ingram underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 31, but he missed just Alabama's first two games last fall. He's generally projected as a late first-round pick, although that's a drop from his initial mid-first-round status.

Ingram said he has worked out for the Miami Dolphins, who pick 15th overall. He also has visited the St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints, who have picks ranging from 10th to 24th.

Ingram said he had to ice and rehabilitate the knee during the season, but after the bye week in late October, "it felt like it was full-strength, so I finished the second part of the year strong."

Ingram ran for 875 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. As a sophomore, he amassed 1,658 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide to the national title.

Talk about his knee isn't all Ingram has contended with leading up to the draft. He also fired agent Rocky Arceneaux and hired Joel Segal.

"Just a business decision," Ingram said. "No hard feelings. I just thought it was best for me to go in a different direction."

Nothing marred Ingram's day Tuesday. He was chosen for the EA Sports game cover over Washington quarterback Jake Locker, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley and Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray in fan voting.

"It's a tremendous honor," Ingram said. "It's a game I've been playing since middle school all through high school and even in college. Just the fact that I have a chance to be on the cover of a game is a blessing and something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life."

The cover photo is of Ingram carrying the ball with his gloved left hand extended palm-out flashing a crimson "A."

"I couldn't have drawn it up any better," he said. "I think they did a great job with the cover. It's awesome."

A skilled bowler and golfer, Ingram said he's pretty good at EA Sports' "NCAA Football," too.

"I'm taking all challengers," he joked.

Ingram will have his picture in numerous game-playing households once that edition is released July 12, but he's receiving some exposure before then, too. He spent much of Tuesday appearing on "SportsCenter" and other ESPN shows.

"He's on our Facebook page, he's going to be on displays at Best Buy and Walmart and Gamestop," said Randy Chase, EA Sports' senior marketing manager. "He's going to be all over the place in retail until the game comes out."

As for draft day, Ingram said he has no feel whatsoever for where he'll wind up. draft analyst Pat Kirwan ranks Ingram the top running back in the draft but says he could slip to the second round if Miami doesn't take him at No. 15. Kirwan calls Ingram "a good, solid back who does everything well, (but) he might not have a dominant trait that gives him an edge on Sundays."

Ingram said he'll have to wait until next week's draft to see how teams -- or at least one team -- feel about him, just like everybody else.

"I hear about (draft projections) all the time, but nobody really knows," he said. "I'm just going to wait until I hear my name called."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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