2019 Alabama Football Practice Reports

Nick Saban praises true freshman at inside linebacker, despite competition

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

He is in a five-man race to start at the second inside linebacker role – opposite Dylan Moses – but Christian Harris took a big step forward on Saturday. 

The true freshman from Baton Rouge, La., was next to Moses in warmups prior to scrimmaging at Bryant-Denny Stadium and played with the first-team defense.

A four-star via Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Harris saw time on offense, defense and special teams at University Lab School and helped the program win back-to-back state championships in 2017 and 2018.

RELATED: TDA’s Stephen M. Smith Recaps Crimson Tide’s Final Fall Scrimmage

He has the size (6-2/244) to potentially be a middle “Mike” linebacker, but Nick Saban wants to continue seeing Harris grow at the position. After impressing distinguished guests, the Crimson Tide’s head coach took to the podium with words of praise for the freshman. 

“He did a good job,” Saban said of Harris. 

“He’s a football player and it’s important to him. He runs and hits people. When we had guys like this in the past… C.J. Mosley played as a freshman, Dont’a Hightower played as a freshman, Rolando McClain played as a freshman… We just put them in and played them. They got some on the job training. There is still competition at that position, but he’s a guy that has made plays throughout fall camp.” 

With senior Joshua McMillon (knee) out for the season, Saban wants to get Harris playing like a starter in the rotation.

He is battling Markail Benton, Shane Lee, Jaylen Moody and Ale Kaho for the job; nevertheless, he comes from the same school as Christopher Allen and he wants to succeed.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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