Barring a last-minute change of heart, the University of Alabama football team will get its leading rusher back for 2020.
A University source tells TideSports.com that Najee Harris is currently planning on returning to UA for a senior season. The deadline to declare is Jan. 20. If Harris does return, he will be 1,215 yards away from becoming UA’s all-time career rushing leader, after running for 1,224 yards in 2019. Harris also broke the school record for receiving touchdowns by a running back with seven and became the first Alabama player to score three touchdowns in the first quarter of a game, when he ran in two and scored one more as a receiver against Mississippi State.
Harris’ seven receiving touchdowns is one of just 21 such seasons in UA football history, four of them being done this season by Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy and Harris.
Harris was not listed as a first round pick in the mock drafts posted by The Athletic on Dec. 4 or by CBS Sports on Nov. 29; running backs have seen their value fall in recent drafts, minus special exceptions. The 2019 Draft did not see a running back go in the top 10, after the 2018 Draft only had one running back in that rare air: Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.
Harris ran for 100 yards or more in six games this season — 110 on Southern Miss, 114 on Texas A&M, 105 on Texas A&M, 146 on LSU, 146 on Auburn and 136 on Michigan — becoming one of just 11 UA players to do so six or more times in a season. He had 86 yards against Arkansas and 88 against Mississippi State.
Brian Robinson Jr. spelled Harris this season and had Keilan Robinson as the primary third back, most often in the end of blowouts. UA also has highly touted freshman Trey Sanders coming back from a foot injury and three running backs in the recruiting class: Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams and Kyle Edwards. UA already lost one running back to the transfer portal, Jerome Ford, who landed at Cincinnati.
teaitup likes this