Alabama RB Najee Harris reflects on 2 seasons of waiting his turn
When junior Alabama RB Najee Harris met with the media Wednesday, he was asked about the most important lesson he has learned in two seasons at UA.
“Being patient. Being patient and waiting for your time,” Harris told reporters. “As a running back, anywhere in the country, you always want to get in the game and show people what you can do. But sometimes, you’ve just got to be patient and wait for your opportunity.
“Just really settling down and just waiting for your opportunity and showing people what you can do with the opportunities you get.”
Running back is one of those positions where we see freshmen come in and contribute immediately. As a former 5-star recruit, Harris arrived with the billing of a potential freshman contributor. When Harris enrolled at Alabama, he joined a team that returned its top four rushers from the year before: Damien Harris, Jalen Hurts, Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs. With Hurts being used as a runner and three experienced running backs all back in 2017, the Crimson Tide had a loaded backfield in Najee’s freshman season. He would log more carries than Jacobs in 2017, but it was still Damien Harris who was the clear leader of the Bama backfield.
Now, Jacobs and Damien Harris are in the NFL. Hurts is in Oklahoma. Steve Sarkisian is expected to use Najee as the primary running back this fall, but the junior doesn’t consider himself the No. 1 back just yet.
“I feel like we all should be ready,” Harris said. “I don’t really feel like I have a No. 1 spot. I feel like we’re all competing for it, especially in camp right now. So, I don’t really think about none of that. I think about all the stuff I’ve got to work on personally, like my … alignment, my blitz pickups and my reading out the runs and all that stuff. I don’t really think about the year right now.”