34 Days Away from Bama Kickoff: Damien Harris
Each day counting down to Alabama's Week 1 matchup with Utah State, I will highlight one former player whose jersey number coincides with the amount of days until the game. Kickoff is only 34 days away, so let's look back at a recent Crimson Tide running back, Damien Harris.
Damien Harris played for the Crimson Tide from 2015-18, beginning his career as a reserve back, but working his way into a star by the end of his time in Tuscaloosa.
Harris, a native of Berea, KY, was a five star-prospect and the first ranked player in the state, per 247Sports. He joined a loaded Alabama class that was also ranked No. 1 and featured the likes of Calvin Ridley, Daron Payne, Minkah Fitzpatrick and more.
In his freshman season, the 5-foot-11, 220lb back served as the backup to Derrick Henry and as a return man, finishing the year with 157 yards on 46 carries and 174 yards on nine returns.
In his second season, Harris took over as the starter, but split carries with both Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs. Despite limited reps, the sophomore led the team in rushing yards with 1,037 and helped guide the Crimson Tide to an appearance in the National Championship.
Harris' junior season saw him lead the team in rushing once more, hitting the 1,000 yard mark for the second consecutive year. Alabama made its return to the title game and defeated Georgia in dramatic fashion, winning in overtime.
Despite some interest from the NFL, Harris returned for his senior year and again led the team in rushing, finishing with 876 yards. Alabama made yet another trip to the National Championship, but ended the year in embarrassing fashion, losing to Clemson 44-16.
Harris entered the 2019 NFL Draft and was selected in the third round by the New England Patriots. In his first season in New England, Harris earned just four carries in a single game, but in his second year, finished as the team's leading rusher.
This past season, Harris led the team in every major rushing category, finishing with 929 yards and 15 touchdowns. Though the Patriots season ended in ultimate disappointment, losing in the first round of the playoffs, Harris looks to be a bright spot for the future of the organization.