Alabama Football: A Najee return would make for crowded Tide RB room

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Najee Harris choosing another season of Alabama football over NFL entry would be huge news for the Crimson Tide. It could also create problems in the RB room.

Alabama football running back, Najee Harris choosing a return to Tuscaloosa for another season of college football was all the buzz on Friday. For weeks, perhaps months, Alabama football fans and insiders have been convinced the two locks to turn professional were Harris and Jerry Jeudy.

Few people have real knowledge of Najee’s 2020 NFL Draft chances. Pundits and others have speculated middle of the second round to maybe third round and possibly even as low as the fourth round. Even fourth round, money can be a strong enticement.

Last year’s first pick in the fourth round, got a contract worth about $3M over four years. Though the guaranteed amount was less than $900K, per, making the team and playing one season returned almost $1.2M in compensation.

For maybe a few dozen players, the amounts above are a reason to return to school. Others with difficult life backgrounds and circumstances can’t afford to pass on dollars that might or might not increase in a subsequent Draft.

Najee could be one of those players. We have written about his tough circumstances growing up when the word ‘home’ had almost no meaning. Living in shelters for months at a time, sleeping in cars or on the hard floors of someone else’s house. For a young man growing up with so little, one million dollars can be viewed as financial stability for life.

We don’t know how much sooner, rather than later money, is factoring into Najee’s decision. He keeps his thoughts pretty close and has his entire time in Tuscaloosa. For most of Friday, Twitter was filled with claims Harris had informed the Alabama football staff of a return. As of midnight, Friday night, there had been no credible confirmation.

The lack of confirmation did nothing to tamp down chatter of what Nick Saban would do with so many running backs. If Najee returns, the RB roster could be as many as seven players. An expected Jerome Ford transfer and a move of Chadarius Townsend back to wide receiver would be necessary to hold it to only seven.

There was frequent rumor on Friday, the number would not stay at seven even with a Najee return. Few expect former 5-Star, Trey Sanders to make a move, but Brian Robinson and Keilan Robinson might move solely for a greater opportunity of playing time elsewhere. The three incoming freshmen had to expect with a Najee exit, one of them would have a chance in the 2020 playing rotation. Maybe one still does, but not likely two.

It is possible to utilize four healthy backs and five, factoring for an injury. Making room for seven is not possible. Two or three will have to wait a later turn.

Next. The legacy of Tua Tagovailoa. dark

A roster of so much running back talent is an advantage few teams enjoy. At least the newcomers can play in up to four games and still redshirt.