Just before Najee Harris and his Antioch (Calif.) Panther teammates took home another win late Friday night, news surfaced of an impending official visit to the school he has been verbally to for 18 months surfaced. It was confirmed by Scout soon after and both Harris and his mother, Tianna Hicks, were to be at Alabama over the weekend.
It was to be the first official visit for the top prospect in the 2017 cycle, the only known trip of this nature on the docket. But it will now have to be rescheduled as the duo were unable to make the flight leaving from Sacramento.
Harris has been to Tuscaloosa a handful of times and Hicks has been able to make the trek with her youngest son on two occasions. On the first visit, she gave her blessing for the five-star running back's commitment on April 22, 2015.
"It was April, A-Day, for A-Day weekend. When he committed, that was my first visit there," she told A.P. Steadham. "Our recruiter was Tosh (Lupoi), so he’s been around a lot. We’ve gotten to know a bunch of people…
"I’m seeing the campus, talking to people, it was kind of overwhelming. That might of been my second or third college visit, really. It was kind of overwhelming, really, then you get to his giant big school and you’re looking around like a kid in a candy store. Wow, look at all this. Then you’re getting rushed around with questions and seeing all of this because you only get a short time."
Hicks says the initial trip was about the information at UA and of course it included her initial impression of Nick Saban, where she says he was so prepared for her first visit that all her questions were answered before she could ask any.
The second trip, a multi-day stay for the Nick Saban Football Camp last summer, allowed Hicks to further her relationship with many of the coaches and those around the program.
"The second visit was more personal, we got to meet the staff, but on a personal level," Hicks said. "It made a big difference compared to my first visit with it being more personal, they were showing a little more of who they were. It wasn’t just all the football recruiting, which was good. We wanted to see that, too, treat us like normal, every day recruiting, without all the hype and all that. That was a good visit, real good visit.
"I met Lane (Kiffin) twice, it was when I went back out there for my second visit. There were some folks that stood out in my mind that I had to go see. It was Miss Linda (laughing). Coach (Scott) Cochran, of course. I knew we were going to see Nick (Saban) and Tosh. There were some folks that stood out to me, even some that weren’t on the coaching staff that made you feel welcome. They made me feel cool."
Several other programs, notably Michigan, USC, UCLA and others hoping to sway the December graduate to back off of his Crimson Tide commitment, it's safe to assume the coaching staff will try to get clarity on what part of the process remains for the top prospect in the land whenever he is back on campus.
Alabama is the only program to host Harris and his mother on multiple occasions.
"He feels real good about Alabama," Hicks said. "That’s all that matters to me right now."