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Alabama in the Pros

Steelers RB Najee Harris adds weight to inflict pain on NFL defenders this fall

Najee Harris (#22) warms up for 2021 matchup for Steelers versus Lions
Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

Ben Rothlisberger’s retirement has Najee Harris as the offensive centerpiece for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He dominated as a first-round pick in his rookie season, totaling 1,200 yards rushing, 467 yards receiving, and 10 touchdowns through 17 games in 2021. Harris posted three 100+ yard rushing performances and a 100-yard receiving outcome versus the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished second in the National Football League for rushing attempts (307) and fourth for yards.

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Harris entered his first year at 232 pounds on a 6-foot-1 frame.

Mark Kaboly, a Senior Steelers Writer for The Athletic, reported that Harris is now 244 pounds. The California native added 12 pounds to inflict pain on NFL defenders and hopes to keep his smooth moves in space too. Harris is known for his impressive hurdling abilities and breakaway speed. He became an all-purpose running back for the University of Alabama in 2019 and 2020.

Harris was a two-time 1,000+ yard rusher for the Crimson Tide. He won several awards in 2020, including Doak Walker, Unanimous All-American, first-team All-SEC, and SEC Championship Game MVP. Harris won two College Football Playoff National Championships in 2017 and 2020. He made the Pro Bowl and earned a spot on Pro Football Writers Association’s All-Rookie Team last season. Fans of the Steelers and Crimson Tide are looking forward to the growth of Harris in year two.

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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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