TideSports College Football Preview

Returning starter: Damien Harris
Starter lost: Bo Scarbrough


Damien Harris could become the first player in school history to post three straight 1,000-yard seasons by returning for his senior year. Najee Harris should be due for a bigger role after averaging 6.1 yards per carry and rushing for 370 yards as a freshman. Sophomore Brian Robinson, a Hillcrest product, may have been under the radar relative to other players, but is an outstanding prospect in his own right. Junior Josh Jacobs contributed in a variety of ways for the offense when healthy in 2017. If he can stay on the field, he’ll have a role with the offense.


Freshman Jerome Ford is the only running back in Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class. He was a four-star prospect from Armwood High School in Florida. There’s a talented group in front of him, but it never hurts to have more talent and depth at a position like running back.


Damien Harris has averaged 6.7 yards per carry for his career. That’s second-best to Wilbur Jackson in school history among players with at least 200 career carries. The school record among players with 400 carries is 6.3 yards per carry. Harris is also 1,398 yards away from breaking Derrick Henry’s career rushing record.


This is one of Alabama’s strongest units and likely among the nation’s best backfields. Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Brian Robinson would likely be bell-cow backs at most other programs. Jacobs’ skill set makes him an asset both as a runner and receiver. There may be more attention in the preseason on Alabama’s quarterback battle, but the running backs ensure that the offense will have a solid foundation no matter who takes the snaps. Prepare for this group to do damage to opposing defenses.


Damien Harris has fewer career carries (327) than Derrick Henry had during his Heisman season in 2015 (395). Harris has averaged 9.7 carries per game during the last two seasons.


“All four of those guys — when you talk about Brian Robinson, Josh Jacobs, Najee Harris and Damien Harris — all are uber-talented guys. I’d be an idiot to not find ways to get those guys involved in our system.”
– Mike Locksley

TideSports College Football Preview