Ascending to the superstar category requires more than just superior talent in a sport. Raising the performance of your teammates launches the player into an exalted echelon. Running back extraordinaire Najee Harris has acted as the catalytic agent transforming Antioch (Calif.) High's football program into a contender for a state championship.
Interacting with teammates is crucial to promoting harmony and trust. Harris playfully socializes with all members of the Panthers program. T-E-A-M remains the core of his agenda.
“My senior goals are to win the league and make it to the state playoffs,” said Harris to BamaMag.com during an exclusive interview at the East Bay Area school after an August practice session. “We want to do as much as we can as a team. There is no personal thing here, other than to just win.”
Opponents are motivated to subdue America’s best. Harris is reciprocating with intense preparation for the inevitable challenge.
“I try to work on every aspect but I focused on my speed,” replied the 6-2, 221 pound Scout.com No. 1 prospect in the 2017 class. “I worked on catching the football, cutting, setting up blocks, vision and every aspect really.”
Harris excels as a runner, receiver and is developing the ability to pass protect. A bobbled shotgun snap to the quarterback fell to the turf on an intended pass play. Harris snatched the errant ball and threw a perfect spiral over 30-plus yards down the field in an attempt to complete the execution. The triple-threat prospect could spur the revival of the halfback option in Tuscaloosa.
Harris, a frequent visitor to Alabama, journeyed to the South in June with his Head Coach, John Lucido. “The visit was cool,” stated Harris unfazed by the humidity. “It was smooth.”