|No. 22 – Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Born:||March 9, 1998|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||232 lb (105 kg)|
|High school:||Antioch (Antioch, California)|
|NFL Draft:||2021 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2021|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Najee Harris (born March 9, 1998) is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama and was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Harris is from the San Francisco Bay Area. One of five children of a single mother, he grew up in several troubled neighborhoods, including time in a homeless shelter when he was in middle school before the family moved to Antioch.
High school career
Harris played his high school football career at Antioch High School in Antioch, California. As a sophomore in 2014, Harris rushed for 2,263 yards with 23 touchdowns. As a junior he had 2,744 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns. As a senior, he had 2,776 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns.
Harris was considered the #1 recruit in the class of 2017, by Scout and Rivals. 247Sports rated him as the No. 2 overall recruit behind Jaelan Phillips while ESPN ranked him the No. 11 overall recruit. Harris received offers from multiple top football programs including the Alabama Crimson Tide, Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, USC Trojans, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2015. Harris was one of the most hyped running back recruits since Bryce Brown in 2009 and Leonard Fournette in 2014. Multiple recruiting experts compared him to Adrian Peterson.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Antioch, CA||Antioch (CA)||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||226 lb (103 kg)||Apr 18, 2015|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN grade: 93|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 1 (RB); 1 (West); 1 (Cal) Rivals: 1 (RB); 1 (Natl); 1 (Cal) 247Sports: 1 (Natl); 1 (RB); 1 (Cal) ESPN: 1 (RB); 1 (West); 1 (Cal)|
As a freshman, Harris played in all 14 games but had limited carries as players like Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough, and Josh Jacobs handled the main workload. Harris finished the season with 370 yards on 61 carries averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He also scored three rushing touchdowns.
In his sophomore season, Harris was third on the depth chart behind Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs. Harris played in 15 games, recording 783 yards on 117 carries and scoring four rushing touchdowns. Harris had his best game against Arkansas State, carrying the ball 13 times and gaining a career-high 135 yards.
With Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs off to the NFL, Harris became the starting running back for Alabama Crimson Tide. During this season, Harris had 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 304 yards and 7 touchdowns. Despite speculation that he would declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, Harris announced that he would return to Alabama for his senior year.
In 2020, Harris was the starting running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Against the Missouri Tigers, Harris had 17 attempts for 98 yards and 3 touchdowns. Against the Georgia Bulldogs he ran for 31 attempts with 152 yards, 1 touchdown and 4.9 yards on average. His best game of the season was against Ole Miss, where he attempted 23 rushes for 206 yards with 5 touchdowns. Harris finished his career as the all-time leader in rushing yards (3,843), total scrimmage yards (4,624) and touchdowns (57) for the Crimson Tide.
|CFP national champion|
|Led the NCAA|
|NCAA Collegiate Career statistics|
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand span|
|6 ft 1+3⁄8 in
|All values from Pro Day|
Harris was selected 24th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the first running back selected. On May 25, 2021, Harris signed his rookie contract with the Steelers, worth $13.1 million including a $6.9 million signing bonus over 4 years.
In Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Harris recorded 142 all purpose yards, including 14 catches in 19 targets. This tied the NFL record for most catches in a game for a rookie running back, and were the second-highest amount of targets for a running back since 1992 (when the data was first tracked). In Week 5 against the Denver Broncos, Harris recorded 122 yards on 23 carries and a rushing touchdown in the 27–19 win. It marked his first game rushing over 100 yards. He became the first Steelers' rookie to score a rushing touchdown and record 100 yards rushing on his first five games, since Franco Harris in 1972. In Week 17, Harris ran for a career-high 188 yards and the game-sealing touchdown in a 26-14 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Harris finished his rookie season with 1,200 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, and 74 catches for 467 yards and three touchdowns. He finished fourth in rushing yards, fourth in all-purpose yards, and led all running backs in receptions. His 381 touches led the NFL and had zero fumbles. He was selected as an alternate for the 2022 Pro Bowl, replacing Bengals running back Joe Mixon.
NFL career statistics
|NFL career statistics|
|NFL playoff career statistics|
Harris graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Consumer Services in 2020. During his last college football season, Harris began celebrating touchdowns by striking the iconic World Cup pose of Megan Rapinoe. He mentioned finding Rapinoe's views on feminism and standing for her beliefs, as "motivating" and "inspirational".
On the day of the 2021 NFL Draft, Harris declined the invitation to the event in Cleveland, Ohio. Opting instead to host a party for the kids served at Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, the homeless shelter he spent his childhood at. He then gathered with family and friends to watch the draft at a restaurant owned by Lynch, in Emeryville, California.
In 2021, Harris founded the nonprofit organization Da' Bigger Picture Foundation, which provides assistance to families impacted by homelessness and hunger.
- Kroichik, Ron (April 29, 2021) [April 25, 2021]. "Najee Harris once was homeless. Now, he's an NFL first-round pick". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
- Kroichick, Ron (November 28, 2015). "Antioch's Najee Harris has run into national spotlight". SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle).
- "Top-ranked Antioch football player's future is bright". East Bay Times. August 25, 2015 [August 18, 2015].
- Johnson, Luke (October 1, 2015) [September 22, 2015]. "Antioch High School's Najee Harris leading team to new heights". The Press. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
- "The Najee Chronicles". San Francisco Chronicle. August 28, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
- "Najee Harris". 247Sports. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
- "2017 ESPN 300". ESPN. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Donohue, Tyler (January 24, 2017). "College Football's Next Big Thing: 2017 No. 1 Overall Recruit Najee Harris". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
- "Najee Harris - Football".
- Zenor, John (August 20, 2019). "Najee Harris finally gets to be Alabama's primary runner". yahoo.com. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
- Kercheval, Ben (January 15, 2020). "Alabama star RB Najee Harris decides to return to school in 2020, holding off NFL Draft". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
- "Najee Harris Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
- "Najee Harris, Alabama, RB, 2021 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
- "Najee Harris 2021 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
- Varley, Teresa (April 30, 2021). "Steelers select Najee Harris in first round". Steelers.com. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
- Pryor, Brooke (September 29, 2021). "Why big receiving games for Steelers' Najee Harris likely won't be the norm". espn.com. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Pryor, Brooke (October 10, 2021). "Steelers' offensive line leads way to big games for Najee Harris, Ben Roethlisberger". espn.com. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Reed, Tom (May 6, 2021). "Najee Harris lived amid 'two blocks of hell.' He trained in the dark. He dodged trouble like he did defenders. And now, it's all daylight". dkpittsburghsports.com. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Wisniewski, Lindsey (January 19, 2021). "Najee Harris goes Beast Mode, signs with Marshawn Lynch's marketing agency". nbcsports.com. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Nakano, Andrea (April 29, 2021). "Bay Area Football Phenom Najee Harris Drafted by Steelers". sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Snarr, Peter (June 25, 2021). "Bay Area native Najee Harris advocates for homeless with Newsom". kron4.com. Retrieved October 13, 2021.