University of Alabama star Najee Harris, an Antioch High grad, is having a winning week.
Just days after he took home the Doak Walker Award — given to the nation’s top college running back— he played a pivotal role in helping the Crimson Tide secure a 52-24 win over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff national championship game.
Harris, a senior, raked up 22 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with seven catches for 79 yards and another score, ultimately propelling the Crimson Tide over the Buckeyes — and securing Alabama’s third national championship in six seasons.
After the game, Harris expressed gratitude to everyone who had helped him succeed.
“I appreciate all the coaches helping me along the way,” he said in comments broadcast on KTVU FOX 2. “I appreciate (Alabama head coach Nick Saban) of course, and I appreciate the Bama nation, really for believing in me and cheering me on.”
Harris’s championship game performance was an extension of a stellar senior season and a grand four-year college career.
He locked up this season’s Doak Walker Award by carrying the ball 251 times for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns, to go along with 43 receptions for 425 and four more scores.
The Antioch product ends the 2020 season as the nation’s leader in rushing and total touchdowns; second in total yards (1,891) and third in rushing yards.
Even more impressive, he ends his sensational four-year college career as the school’s leader in rushing yards (3,843), total yards (4,624), rushing touchdowns (46), and total touchdowns (57).
His success, however, is hardly a surprise to football observers.
Harris ended his Antioch High School career as the area's best-ever running back, rushing for 7,948 yards and 94 touchdowns. He averaged 9.5 yards a carry and 193.9 yards a game.
He had at least 30 college offers on the table, according to Rivals recruiting service, before settling on the University of Alabama.
With his college career now in the rearview mirror, his next stop figures to be the NFL, with the draft slated for April 29.
This week, however, Harris was focused on the moment.
“It was a long, long season, so for it to come to an end like the way it did is good,” he said.