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Alabama Football Impact Players

Najee Harris’ increased speed and explosiveness, due to intense offseason workouts, pays off versus Missouri

Najee Harris hurdles a Missouri defender
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

No one trained harder than Najee Harris over the summer.

All the moments he spent at Alabama, Texas, Georgia and California with Brad Lester (former Auburn running back) and Derrick Blaylock were meant for a huge purpose. Whether it was flipping tires, running on treadmills, performing agility and change of direction exercises, improving speed and quickness or recovering in a cryotherapy chamber, Harris did everything necessary to prepare himself for the Heisman campaign and first-round draft stock he desires to have as a senior for the Crimson Tide.

Everything paid off over the weekend, as the former five-star had a dominant showing versus Missouri.

RELATED: Alabama’s leaders still not satisfied with defensive performance

After starting the 2019 season slow against Duke, Harris meant business this time.

He recorded 106 yards from scrimmage on a veteran defensive front, including 98 yards rushing on 17 carries. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder showed off his improved speed and big-time power on three touchdowns. To pair with his long run of 18 yards, Harris averaged 5.8 yards per carry and recorded either first downs or scores on six of his attempts. His performance moved him ahead of Eddie Lacy for 14th all-time in school history for career rushing yards (2,475).

Should he continue his surge, Harris could move into the top-10 or maybe even top-five.

He caught two passes from Mac Jones for eight yards and displayed his hurdling ability too.

Despite the talents that Brian Robinson Jr. and Trey Sanders have, Harris made the statement that he remains the No. 1 rusher for Alabama football. He now looks to carry his momentum into the Tide’s home opener with Texas A&M on Saturday.

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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.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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