Najee Harris recalls his strange recruitment that ended up with Alabama and Michigan
Nearly four years ago, Najee Harris showed up at Alabama. And that’s exactly how his recruitment ended — by him just showing up, with it still being unknown whether he’d honor his commitment to the Crimson Tide or flip to Michigan.
Of course, Harris decided to stick with Alabama, and the rest has been history. He’s gone on to be a successful player for the Tide and a key contributor for their offense the past few seasons. Now, he’s preparing to play in the Rose Bowl, with Alabama back in the College Football Playoff after missing it for the first time last season.
On Tuesday, Harris reflected on how his recruitment ended and why he decided to not make an official announcement that he had signed with the Crimson Tide back in January 2017.
“Going back to recruiting, I didn’t like it,” Harris told the media. “It’s too much attention, way too much attention for me. I think I just showed up here. I just showed up, I didn’t even tell them I was coming here, I just showed up. Just tired of it, man, I just popped up at the airport with [quarterback] Tua [Tagovailoa]. And then, I didn’t even know really all the recruits that were here, so first day of practice, I had seen all these recruits that I knew in high school, I’m looking around, I’m like, ‘Man, we actually got a pretty good recruiting class here.’ Obviously, it showed up in the championship game freshman year, and now ever since, I think we took off. Coach [Nick] Saban did a really good job of recruiting.”
Harris, who is now a senior, has played during each of his four seasons at Alabama. He’s currently having his best year yet, as he’s rushed for 1,262 yards and 24 touchdowns while also hauling in 32 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns during the Crimson Tide’s 11-0 start. That’s come a year after he had 20 total touchdowns as a junior in 2019.
In the SEC Championship Game, Harris rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns and had five receptions for 67 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Florida. Now, he’ll look to have another big showing on an even larger stage against Notre Dame.
Alabama and Notre Dame are set to kick off on Friday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.