There may not be another player on Alabama’s roster who is as poised to have a breakout season than junior running back Najee Harris. So far in his career, Harris has been contributing to one of the most talent saturated positions on the entire roster since he was a freshman.
In two years the former number one ranked running back has rushed for 1,153 yards, on 178 attempts, giving him an average of 6.5 yards per carry along with 7 total touchdowns. That’s not too bad considering he has split time with guys like Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs and Bo Scarbrough.
In today’s current climate of college football if a five-star player sees a ton of talent ahead of him on the depth chart he could easily plug himself into the transfer portal to try and find an easier path to playing. But by staying at Alabama Harris has learned a valuable lesson.
“As a running back anywhere in the country you always want to get in the game and show people what you want to do,” said Harris at today’s press conference. “But sometimes you’ve just got to be patient for your opportunity. Just really settling down and waiting for your opportunity and showing people what you can do with the opportunities you get.”
Now Harris is unquestionably the number one running back for Alabama going into 2019. Along with the unfortunate injury to five-star freshman Trey Sanders, returning offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian may look to lean a bit more on Harris. That means Harris will have to play smart so he too can avoid injury and the Martinez, CA., native is already taking precautions by cutting down on his hurdles.
“I’ve got to cut that out,” said Harris when asked about hurdling defenders. “It’s not the best way to go at it sometimes.”
It looks like the two years of being a rotational player have really had an impact on Harris’ outlook on the game and he’ll be all the better for it in 2019.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77