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Damien Harris, Unheralded Star

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Relatively-quietly, senior Damien Harris is earning a special place in Crimson Tide lore.

Alabama has recently been home to a number of college football's premier running backs. Under Nick Saban alone, the Crimson Tide have produced six different 1,200-yard rushers, three All-Americans and a pair of Heisman Trophy winners, the first and only two in program history. Names like Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake helped lead Alabama to national championship success. Relatively-quietly, senior Damien Harris is earning a special place in Crimson Tide lore.

Fresh off 1,037 yards in 2016 and exactly 1,000 in 2017, Harris would become the first player ever at Alabama with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons should be meet the milestone again this fall. Harris, with 1,398 more yards, would become the Crimson Tide's career rushing leader. Remarkably, he has never once led the team in carries or even averaged ten rushes per game for a single season. Harris currently has a career mark of over 6.7 yards per attempt, good for a spot in the major conference top 25 all-time. 

Should Harris, currently at 2,194 career rushing yards, reach 2,500 yards and maintain at least a 6.5-yard average, he, Reggie Bush and Ezekiel Elliott would be the only running backs since the turn of the millennium with such production and a national championship ring.

Harris, throughout his career, has come up with big plays for Alabama time and time again. As a sophomore, his 144 yards and fourth quarter scoring plunge helped the Crimson Tide hold off Ole Miss 48-43. That same year, Harris had the lone first half touchdown, a 17-yard reception, in a hard-fought Iron Bowl. Last season, he scored the key touchdown in a top three showdown with Florida State and tied Mississippi State with a final period 14-yard dash, a contest Alabama won 31-24.

In games where Harris has reached 100 yards rushing or scored, the Crimson Tide are 15-0.   

Despite never being a ball-dominant workhorse, Harris, formerly a special-teamer, has done some truly notable things. This fall, he will be one of the veteran leaders as Alabama contends for back-to-back national championships and a third title in four years. Harris will also be chasing history of his own.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports