By RJ Younger
FOX Sports activities School Soccer Author
The Alabama Crimson Tide placed on their professional day on Tuesday and the occasion served as a showcase for a number of of the 2021 NFL draft class’s first-round picks.
Cornerback Patrick Surtain gained the day on the sector with a 4.46 40-yard sprint, 39-inch vertical and 18 reps of 225 kilos on the bench press — all at 6-foot-2, 208 kilos.
He solidified his standing because the No. 1 defensive again within the class and backed up the numbers and accolades he gained on the sector final season.
Nonetheless, whereas most NFL groups who watched the Alabama professional day noticed Mac Jones attempt to vault himself into the center of the primary spherical come April 29, the participant who acquired probably the most buzz didn’t work out on Tuesday.
No, it wasn’t 2020 Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, who arguably wasn’t the very best receiving menace — I mentioned what I mentioned — on the Crimson Tide’s 2020 nationwide championship crew (keep in mind Jaylen Waddle?)
The participant that stole the present was operating again Najee Harris.
Harris anticipated to catch a flight from Dallas to Birmingham on Monday night time, however his flight was canceled resulting from lightning.
That may’ve been the tip of the journey for many. Once more, Harris was not scheduled to work out. He didn’t must. Everyone knows he’s the very best operating again obtainable on this draft after placing collectively a Heisman-caliber season final 12 months.
At 6-foot-2, 230 kilos, he completed his profession with college information for speeding touchdowns (46) and yards (3,843), after skipping early entry into the draft a 12 months in the past. Which means Heisman winners Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry are wanting up at him on that listing.
He had nothing to show by leaping right into a automotive and driving 9 hours in a single course in order that he could possibly be at professional day by 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
He did it anyway. And he did it to help his teammates.
That’s simply Najee.
People who’ve gotten to know Harris know this isn’t new, neither is this an act of placing on airs. Harris is constructed this manner, and he has been from a younger age.
He’s the sort of participant who, years later, acknowledged the voice of a reporter who used to cowl him in highschool in Antioch, Calif., and referred to as him out in a press convention forward of the nationwide title recreation in January.
“Is that Ron?” he said. “From the San Francisco Chronicle? Are you able to hear me, Ron?”
“Sure, sir,” Ron Kroichick mentioned. “It’s me.”
“What’s up?! You ain’t gon’ say nothin’? What’s up with it? Dang, Ron. Don’t act faux now, Ron.”
That’s simply Najee.
He’s the sort of participant, who after profitable, saved it a buck when a reporter tried to fuel him up after the Tide rolled (up) Ohio State within the nationwide title recreation.
After ripping via Notre Dame for 125 yards on simply 15 carries, the Buckeyes held Harris to only 79 yards on 22 carries.
“Najee, Ohio State has a extremely good entrance. How have been you capable of expose these holes so effortlessly?”
“Effortlessly?” Harris said. “You didn’t see what they was doing? They was blowing my ass up. What you talkin’ about?” he mentioned. “Bruh, they was blowing my ass out. You trippin’.”
That’s simply Najee.
He’s the sort of participant who, when requested about U.S. Ladies’s Nationwide Group soccer star Megan Rapinoe, may rap about her for over a minute whereas gushing with satisfaction.
“Her simply taking part in a component,” he said, “Standing up, not listening to all of the naysayers on the market, actually simply standing up for what she believes in – it’s motivating, and it’s inspirational … Perhaps not too many males would say they appear as much as a girl these days, however I actually look as much as her.”
And there he was, on Monday, being Najee as soon as once more.
Don’t child your self, both. It issues.
These bits of character, that little bit of humility and a team-first persona, create particulars that solidify in an NFL evaluator’s thoughts who this participant is, how he may get alongside in a locker room and simply what you possibly can count on outdoors the boundaries of a soccer subject from him.
A part of the method is the method. And Harris gave NFL groups another reason why they ought to belief him.
As a result of that is simply Najee.
RJ Younger is a nationwide school soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities. Comply with him on Twitter at @RJ_Young. Subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube. He’s not on a StepMill.RJ Younger is a nationwide school soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities. Comply with him on Twitter at @RJ_Young. Subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube. He’s not on a StepMill.
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