Alabama Football News

Najee Harris working out with former Auburn running back, Brad Lester

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, the Alabama-Auburn rivalry does take a backseat to other things. 

As much as both programs and fan bases despise each other during the season, former Tigers’ running back Brad Lester is currently training Najee Harris for his senior year. A native of Lilburn, Ga., Lester was a highly talented prospect from Parkview High School in 2003. 

He played for Auburn University from 2004-08 and was on the winning end of four consecutive Iron Bowls (2004-07). Lester totaled 1,689 yards rushing with 19 touchdowns in his tenure – including a performance of 98 yards versus the Tide in a 17-10 win for the Tigers in 2007. 

He did not get a National Football League opportunity, but that has not stopped Lester from training the next wave of superstars. He is the founder of Speed Genius, as the once Tiger is an experienced performance/training coach.

After posting his first career 1,000-yard campaign last season and choosing to return for this fall, Harris has all of his goals in front him to be special. He eyes a national championship, a second 1,000-yard year, some individual honors, a Heisman Trophy opportunity and a chance to be a first-round draft pick.

According to videos shared by Lester on Twitter, he has been working with Harris on his pad level and explosiveness. 

“I’m just trying to get him (Harris) ready for the season,” Lester said. “He will be coming to Atlanta in another week to train for rest of the summer, and I’m looking forward to helping him as much as possibly can. He is a great athlete and extremely humble person.” 

While he proved to be a great receiver out the backfield against South Carolina, Harris became more aggressive as a runner versus LSU.

Despite having a pair of 100-yard games in meetings with Texas A&M and Tennessee, the former five-star turned it up on LSU (146 yards), Auburn (146 yards) and Michigan (135 yards).

If he consistently plays an entire season the way he did from week nine of last year, then Harris will have no problems convincing people he is the best back in the conference and in college football.

In reflecting back to Lester, he said Harris is training on explosiveness but also building on to his aggressive nature between the tackles. 

“Both things in my opinion are extremely important,” Lester said. “We are literally on explosiveness on the field, but also in the weight room. We are getting him to be the total package running back.” 

This is music to the ears of a Tide fan, especially seeing how people were very excited when Harris came to Alabama in the 2017 signing class from California. Harris is so serious about his training that he’s launched a YouTube channel, and will be posting video to document his exercises. 

RELATED: Alabama Football: It has been 5,000 days since Tennessee has beaten Alabama in lopsided rivalry

He is prepared for a monster year and hopefully, Harris will hit on all his goals.  

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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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