What landing Damien Harris means for the Tide?"> What landing Damien Harris means for the Tide? - Touchdown Alabama - Alabama Football
Alabama Football News

What landing Damien Harris means for the Tide?

On Friday, Alabama landed another hugely important recruit for the 2015 class. In what could end up being the cherry on top of the best recruiting class in school history, 5-star Damien Harris out of Berea, KY pledged his commitment to the Crimson Tide. The 5’10” 210 pound Harris spurned the hometown favorite Kentucky Wildcats in favor of Alabama. The Crimson Tide had been trending higher as of late to get the services of Harris, so it did not come as a complete surprise. Last week at the Under Armour All-American game the full court press was put on Harris by the 13 other Alabama commits playing in the game – most notably by quarterback, and fellow 5-star, Blake Barnett. Harris and Barnett were attached at the hip much of the week, and Harris was quoted as calling Barnett “his quarterback”. It was also interesting to see Harris’ ecstatic reaction during the game when Kendall Sheffield announced he was coming the Alabama. So when Harris put on the Alabama hat Friday, some saw it coming. When asked why he chose Alabama, Harris said, “Alabama, they just said come join the dynasty. They’re a national championship contender every year and that’s the type of program they’ve developed.” Some may wonder why Harris would choose to possibly sit on the bench for a while instead of immediately going somewhere and starting, such as Kentucky – a place he would be almost guaranteed to start immediately. To answer that question, we take a look at the running back situation at Alabama starting next season. TJ Yeldon is entering the draft and Jalston Fowler is graduating. Those two fan favorites accounted for 63% of the carries in 2014. It is assumed Derrick Henry will become the featured back, with Kenyan Drake spelling him in a change-of-pace role. Add Tyren Jones, a back who made the most out of his carries in 2014, and Alabama has a solid backfield once again. That leaves Altee Tenpenny – a player that, for one reason or another, just hasn’t panned out – down on the depth chart once again. Therefore, I would not be surprised if Tenpenny transfers because of lack of playing time. Those four are the only backs with any in-game carries. Bo Scarborough, the 5-star freak athlete, is finally enrolled and he can line up in the backfield (where he practiced in preparation for the Sugar Bowl), or as a receiver, tight end or H-back. I assume he will be a running back because that seems to suit him better. This leaves the two backs in the 2015 class: Harris and 4-star Desherrius Flowers. Seeing how young backs get the opportunity to play early – and the sheer talent Harris possesses – I could see Harris competing for reps as early as 2015. However after 2015, Derrick Henry will more than likely enter the draft, and Drake will graduate. This means Harris could feasibly become the first string running back as early as his sophomore season. Or at least be part of the 1-2 punch Nick Saban has utilized in his tenure at Alabama. Harris is the prototypical all-purpose back that possesses great burst, vision, balance, and break away speed. He ran for 109 touchdowns in his high school career, while racking up 6,652 yards in the process. He brings back memories of Mark Ingram, except he could be better. Alabama continues recruiting top running backs as if Saban’s life depended on it. Since 2009, every Crimson Tide recruiting class besides 2010 has included a 5-star running back (Trent Richardson, Dee Hart, TJ Yeldon, Derrick Henry, Bo Scarborough, Damien Harris). Add Mark Ingram and Eddie Lacy, two 4-stars that just happen to be tearing the NFL up right now, and Alabama has made a solid claim to be the new Running Back U. Now we welcome Damien Harris, the next name in a long line of backs to have fantastic careers in Tuscaloosa. Is he up for the challenge? If he wasn’t, he would have went to Kentucky.

Facebook Comments

To Top