Alabama senior Najee Harris
vaulted himself near the top of the Heisman Trophy race with college highs of 23 carries for 206 yards and five touchdowns during last week's 63-48 win over Ole Miss. He did it again Saturday with 152 yards and a score in a 41-24 win over No. 3 Georgia.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound running back has over 400 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in the Crimson Tide's first four contests. The performances were reminiscent of regular Friday night showings while starring in high school at Antioch (Calif.)
Here are five top moments from the prep career of the Bay Area product:
1. Harris was a two-time San Francisco Chronicle Metro Player of the Year, amassing a Bay Area career best of 7,948 rushing yards and 94 touchdowns. He shattered Jahvid Best's previous Bay Area mark of 6,379 yards, while also bettering other region greats such as Dick Bass, O.J. Simpson, Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew, D.J. Williams and Joe Mixon.
2. He carried the ball 838 times in his career — 291 times as a senior — for a hefty 9.5 yards per carry. He had at least 30 carries in nine games, with a career-high 39 attempts for 390 yards and six touchdowns in a 55-54 loss to Foothill (Pleasanton) to end his junior season. Falcons coach Matt Sweeney was more than impressed: "He’s not worried about down the road," he said after the game. "He’s playing his
guts out for Antioch. He’s all in with his teammates, and he’s
3. Harris rushed for 100 yards in 34 games, 200-plus yards on 19 occasions and topped 300 yards five times. His high was 396 yards on 22 carries and three TDs in a 47-22 win over Milpitas.
4. There's always been talk Harris could play on Sundays at a different position, including receiver. He had 25 career catches for 438 yards (17.5 average) and five touchdowns for the Panthers. In limited time as a strong safety-hybrid linebacker, he had 109 career tackles with six sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one recovery.
5. Proving his impact, Harris joined the Antioch varsity team midway through his freshman year when the Panthers finished 1-9 and ranked 590th in the state by MaxPreps. The team finished No. 36 his junior season and 61st during his season year, winning four playoff games in three seasons — twice as many as the previous 36 years combined at the school.