The Alabama Crimson Tide won two national championships during Najee Harris’ collegiate career, but everything wasn’t peaches and cream as it looked on the outside.
During a discussion on The Pivot Podcast with Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor, Harris recalled he and head coach Nick Saban “did not get along at first” and consistently “bumped heads.”
“I’m not the type of dude to sit back and just let somebody talk to me in a way and expect me not to say somethin.,”
“I can take coaching, but, like, it’s just a certain type of line when you cross, like all right, bro, I’m a man, you ain’t gon’ fucking talk to me like that.”
“Don’t think you’re more than just a coach to me. Don’t try to belittle. I felt like I was belittled.”
“Last incident happened and I left school,” Najee said. “I left school for like two weeks — people didn’t know that. I left school for like two weeks and then Saban sat me in his office.”
That meeting changed everything for their relationship, with the running back saying “ever since that day, we was rock solid.”
Harris appeared in 13 games for the Crimson Tide in 2020 and finished with 1,466 rushing yards, 425 receiving yards, and 30 total touchdowns. He was fifth in Heisman Trophy voting. The Crimson Tide also won the title when Harris was a freshman in 2017 and lost to Clemson in the title game to end his sophomore campaign.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Harris with a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.