Miniature NFL? Najee Harris explains what it takes to excel at Alabama
There are a lot of tools and characteristics needed to play at Alabama, and while those who follow the Crimson Tide and the SEC at large, are aware that among those are speed, strength and athleticism, running back Najee Harris has raised another key trait.
“Man, lot of stress. Lot of mental toughness,” Harris said on the “Move the Sticks” special on the NFL Network, via Bama Online. “I feel like — I mean, obviously, the hard work. But I feel like being at that program is not so much as a toll on your body. It’s more like your attitude-wise — mentally I’m trying to say. I mean, you’ve got to be strong to be at that dang place.
“I’m telling you right now, dog, you’ve got to be mentally strong — like, meetings you have, Saban yelling at you for no reason. I mean, just the small things like putting your hair up in a certain (style), bun, I guess. You can’t have it hanging out. I mean, just all the meetings and stuff like that and it’s just mentally — you’ve got to be mentally there.”
Harris gradually developed into arguably the best running back in the country the last two seasons. As a junior, he had 209 carries for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns. As a senior, he had 251 carries for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns this past year. He was named a unanimous All-American and won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back.
“A hundred percent, a hundred percent because ‘Bama is like the miniature NFL — it is,” Harris said. “Like, they prepare you. The way that they prepare us at ‘Bama is a hundred percent like it translates to the league. We have all types of guys, who’ve been in the league, to teach us. And that’s a huge, huge piece to developing the players.”