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Alabama in the Pros

Najee Harris gives entertaining story and Nick Saban impersonation describing their relationship that turned into ‘best friends’

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

Najee Harris has been one of the fun gifts of entertaining from Alabama football.

Statistics have him as the best running back in Crimson Tide history and the Nick Saban era. Harris accomplished several individual awards in 2020 and has two College Football Playoff National Championship rings. He grew up homeless in California, but the former five-star made his mother and Tide fans proud by getting drafted. Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers took Harris at No. 24 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. As a first-round pick, he was impressive. Harris posted 1,200 yards rushing, 467 yards receiving, and ten touchdowns. He wants to give back to children with troubled backgrounds, but Harris is having fun this offseason with different podcasts. He got featured on “Not Just Football,” a show hosted by his teammate Cameron Heyward.

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During his segment, Harris shared an entertaining story about his relationship with Coach Saban.

He gave a hilarious Saban impersonation and discussed how they grew into becoming ‘best friends.’

“Me and Saban have a special relationship,” Harris said.

“I can be hard-headed. I can be hard-headed sometimes, and I guess he was not used to that. He was used to ‘yes sir,’ so I talked back to him. Something must have happened. He said something to me, then I said something back to him angrily. He looked at me weirdly, and we had some conversation and went our separate ways. Then, another incident happened. I got into a fight at practice, and then another fight, another fight, he kept saying, ‘goddammit 22 it’s always you. Next time you get in a fight, you are leaving practice.’ Another incident happened when he and I got into an argument, but after all that stuff we became best friends.”

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It took him a while to understand Harris, but greatness happened when Saban got a connection with his back.

Harris became a fan favorite and an electric playmaker. Saban is proud of him and looks forward to Harris’ second pro season.

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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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