Najee Harris and his mother, Tianna Hicks, boarded a commercial jet early Friday morning with intentions of observing the Alabama Crimson Tide's walk thru. They successfully arrived in the afternoon, a day before one of the South's most contentious gridiron rivalries.
“We had a good trip,” said Hicks. “We actually had breakfast at the Saban’s home. That was very nice.”
Ms. Hicks and Najee had an additional conversation with Nick Saban in his office near the end of the visit.
Indoctrination to game day culture in Tuscaloosa occurred on Saturday. “That game was exciting. The Alabama fans are hyped and lit. I had a good time with them for real.” Conversations with some of the Tide faithful ensued. “One thing about Alabama, everyone is friendly and made you feel comfortable even if you are an out-of-towner. Everybody makes you feel at home,” she said.
Hicks traveled to campus last spring to witness the A-Day phenomenon of the glorified intra-squad scrimmage and review the educational opportunities. The decibel level of enthusiasm was amped up for the Iron Bowl.
“Even A-Day had the tailgating but this game was like pumped up ten times on steroids,” she replied. Hicks breezed through the academic portion of the tour before strolling around campus with a contingent of recruits’ parents to experience the festive party ambiance on the famous Quad.
The hand and foot prints of former captains surrounding Denny Chimes impressed the San Francisco native. She struck up an acquaintance with Priscilla Baker, Mother of Elliot Baker, a top-rated class of 2017 Juco offensive tackle Bama commit from the City College of San Francisco.
Superior prospects are tending to graduate early from high school to accelerate their college career. Harris, a Bama pledge since the spring of 2015, is on a path to complete all credit requirements to enroll in January.
“He is going to take another visit possibly, too," she said. "We are trying to squeeze in one more. I know he does have a December 10th date set up with Michigan. If we can’t squeeze anything in between now and that date, that will be it.”
Hicks added, “I love the Alabama folks out there. They made me feel at home. Once this (recruiting) is all done, if this is the place he is going to be, I will be relocating because I love it there. I will relocate and never come back probably. I really do love it.”
Pursuit of the celebrated running back is nearing an end.
“I think he is ready to finish this whole recruiting process,” said Hicks. “He is just ready now to get into school and get started working on his next chapter.”
Harris will fly to New York City on Sunday to participate in events honoring the six finalists for the 2017 Army Player of the Year Award.
“He is really excited to visit New York City for the first time,” Hicks stated. “He wants to check out Ground Zero. This will be cool for him.” A ceremony on January 6th to announce and present the winner of the prestigious award precedes the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas to be held on January 7th.
Scout Spotlight: Najee Harris