Alabama’s consistent appearances in the BCS Championship have given Damien Williams plenty of exposure on the national stage. Chances are, if you’re looking at a ranking of this year’s top backs, he’ll be on it. But, how much of that is Harris and how much the Alabama hype machine? (Roll Tide.)
Harris is one of the few runner in the 2019 class that has prototypical NFL size; his BMI should set off the Horn of Gondor that alerts the metrics analysts a running back is nigh. Harris uses his size and considerable power to grind out tough yards after contact, always falling forward to gain that little bit extra. Harris is also fairly nimble for a bigger back, and his jump cut catches defenders off guard with its suddenness. Although Alabama isn’t geared toward throwing to backs, Harris had 20 catches in 2018, and he’s got very smooth hands and the ability to run good routes and gain after the catch.
Punishing, however, is not an adjective that should be used with regards to runs in Harris’s latest season. Instead of hitting defenders, Harris was wrapped up and taken down with startlingly little damage dealt to his tacklers. This rolls into his blocking, where he often shifts sideways to avoid taking the brunt of a block. The other knock on Harris is that he’s not quite fast enough to get to the outside, limiting his big play ability.
Ultimately, Harris does a lot of things well, but nothing spectacularly. He is a safe back who should make an above average backup at the next level.