Najee Harris will return to Alabama Crimson Tide next season
It turns out there was still one more domino left to fall. After a slew of surprises this offseason, it appears Najee Harris has provided one more for Alabama as BamaInsider has now confirmed that the star back will be returning for his senior season.
Harris led Alabama with 1,224 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground this season. He also recorded 27 receptions for 304 yards and seven more scores through the air. His seven receiving touchdowns are a single-season record for an Alabama running back.
While some projected the former five-star to declare for the NFL Draft, he will now join linebacker Dylan Moses, left tackle Alex Leatherwood and receiver DeVonta Smith who have all recently committed to their senior seasons.
Harris, the former No. 1 overall player in the 2017 class, tallied seven 100-yard rushing performances during his Crimson Tide career, including six over his junior year this season. He ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries during Alabama’s 35-16 victory over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
Entering his senior season, Harris is 1,214 yards away from matching Derrick Henry's school record for career rushing yards (3,591). The 6-foot-2, 230-pound back’s decision to return to Alabama leaves the Crimson Tide with perhaps the most loaded backfield in the nation.
Along with Harris, Alabama brings back Brian Robinson Jr., Keilan Robinson and former five-star Trey Sanders, who suffered a season-ending foot injury in fall camp last year. The Crimson Tide will also bring in three four-star signees in Roydell Williams, Jase McClellan and Kyle Edwards. Redshirt freshman running back Jerome Ford announced his transfer to Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Alabama's reloaded bevy of backs should serve as a valuable weapon for a Crimson Tide offense that will have to cope without quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who declared for the draft on Monday.
Tagovailoa was one of six Alabama juniors to declare early for the draft, joining outside linebacker Terrell Lewis, safety Xavier McKinney, right tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. and receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III.
Harris was the last of Alabama's high-profile players contemplating whether to declare for the draft or return to school. Players have until Jan. 20 to make that decision.