Fans of the Crimson Tide are excited for this edition of athletes taking the field, as Nick Saban and the program look to repeat as national champions. With 15 practice sessions – including the A-Day Game – the staff writers for Touchdown Alabama Magazine will provide in-depth previews on marquee players.
Player Name: Christian Harris
-Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisianna
-Weight: 232 lbs
-Strengths: Speed, athleticism, play recognition, experience
-Weaknesses: First season as the unquestioned leader of the defense, no physical weaknesses
Since his freshman year at Alabama, linebacker Christian Harris has been thrown into the heat of battle and exceeded expectations. After a few bumps at the beginning, Harris has turned himself into an elite linebacker at the college level and one of the best athletes at his position.
Nearly every game there is a play where one shakes their head in awe of what Harris does athletically.
Whether it’s running down receivers or bursting through the line to make a tackle for loss or sack, Harris’ game is as well-rounded as any. In 2020 Harris led the Crimson Tide in total tackles with 79 and compiled 7.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one interception and two pass deflections.
Harris also took a step forward in the play-calling duties last season alongside senior Dylan Moses. Despite functioning as a weakside linebacker Harris still participated in aligning the defensive front and communicating the plays to the opposite side of the field.
Head coach Nick Saban mentioned early on in the spring that Harris would be working at both Mike and Will linebacker to get him even more experience in the middle. With him being the most experienced of the group, he will likely be the main voice of Pete Golding’s defense which will be the only question mark in his game as the season approaches.
He will also be integral in bringing along some of the less experienced linebackers who are competing for the open spot next to him. Players like Jaylen Moody and Shane Lee will likely depend on Harris to a degree to help ease into a more consistent role.
Like anything in football, repetition will be the key to success, and the more reps he gets as the main signal-caller the more comfortable he will be playing in that role.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77