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January 11, 2021

Najee Harris

Miami, Florida, USA

Hard Rock Stadium

Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama Crimson Tide 52, Ohio State Buckeyes 24

Q. Obviously an amazing performance tonight from the whole offense. I know as a running back, you want to give a lot of props to the offensive line. There's been a lot of talk all been about the big three, Mac, Devonta and Najee. Talk about what the offensive line has done for you guys. They have opened up holes that when you hit the hole, your eyes are wide open. Talk about what this line has done for you guys.

NAJEE HARRIS: Well, that where it starts, the whole offense all season, it starts with the line. The line, for them to overcome everything this off-season and perform the way they did, that's where it starts. That's why we came out here victorious because the O-Line was able to stop the fronts and do what they do, create moment to create holes for me. They hold it long enough for us to get the shot plays down there, the RPOs, all that.

So the line is obviously is the heart of the team. We're just like -- what the media will put out there, but the heart of the team, what makes a team go, is the O-Line.

Q. Coach Saban talked about discipline and how it was really big this year. Talk about what you guys did to stay disciplined and stay focused on the goal which is obviously winning, and that's why a lot of you guys came back. Talk about that and how important it was to you.

NAJEE HARRIS: Yeah, so we had to be really disciplined this year, like I said, all the outside stuff that's happened and especially this is a different year with coronavirus and stuff. We have to be really disciplined in how we approach games, especially because it's an SEC schedule. Every game is going to be a tough battle when you're playing all SEC teams.

The discipline and commitment of learning, what you have to do every day in practice, from the small stuff, from obviously like me personally, pass protection-wise, different ways that linebackers or corners will blitz, if they are bull rushers, they are going to move, stuff like that. You have to be really disciplined for stuff in the game that I guess other people don't see.

But discipline all year, that's one of the things that's that Saban always harp on because like you said, discipline will get you far and stuff like that because without discipline, you know, just a talented team with no discipline don't get you nowhere. But a disciplined and talented team get you here, right now.

Q. Ohio state has a really good front. How were you able to expose those holes so effortlessly?

NAJEE HARRIS: Effortlessly? You didn't see what they was doing? They was blowing my ass up, what you talking about? It wasn't effortlessly, I tell you what. They did their bring, Bro, to be honest with you. It was just, you know, what they did is every time we did a playaction, they just shot the gaps, shot the gaps. The linebackers, we got a couple of them to play a lot of fakes, that's why we're able to throw so much bubbles and slants and all that. But Bro, they was blowing my ass out, you trippin', it was not easy. I am hurting.

Q. What does this win mean to you and to your family?

NAJEE HARRIS: I mean, we won the National Championship. I think that should be a pretty good feeling. My family's always supported me back home. But I guess this is a good feeling, excited. Long season. Long, long season, so for it to come to the end the way it did, it's good for not only the program and us, but there's other people to say what discipline does. Like I said, it was a really disciplined team, so it was good, exciting, I guess.

Q. How is this group, I guess we've named "The Triplets," going to be remembered after tonight, all three of you guys?

NAJEE HARRIS: You talking about -- who is The Triplets again?

Q. You, Mac and Devonta?

NAJEE HARRIS: Oh, how will we be remembered? Shoot. You tell me. I don't know.

Q. I'm only watching.

NAJEE HARRIS: You only watch what?

Q. I'm only watching. I'm asking you.

NAJEE HARRIS: Oh, I mean, shoot, there's a lot of good teams that came across here. For us three, it's hard for this offensive team to just say us three. I mean, there were so many people that played a role in this season and like what y'all saying, the O-Line, what they have done for us, it's hard to just say three people brought us here. Like there's no way you could do it, especially in this sport when it's 11-on-11. It's the ultimate team sport. There's no way you can say three people did it.

Like I said, it starts with the O-Line. Y'all should really be thinking about how the O-Line should be remembered, not us. I mean, we just put up the numbers following what they did for us.

So I don't know how we'll be remembered. You tell me, though, after this call. Let me know. (Laughs).

Q. In terms of the first receiving touchdown of the game that you had, what did you diagnose pre-snap that put you in the perfect position to catch that pass from Mac Jones?

NAJEE HARRIS: The sideline from the left to the end zone, that one? Oh, man, so -- there was another one?

Q. It was the one where the blitz came and then you kind of got on the side and caught it.

NAJEE HARRIS: And I scored, right? Yeah, so those were in the blitz off the edge. I didn't really get to see. I feel -- what type of blitz it was. I don't know if it was --

Q. Your receiver came over there and then the linebacker came to try to cover on you but then he blitzed instead. So then you got an opening on the edge.

NAJEE HARRIS: He didn't try to cover me. He was on a design blitz, so I knew I was hot right there. I knew Mac was going to have to throw hot. That's why the pass was kind of right behind me because I knew Baron -- that's his name, Baron, No. 5, he was blitzing, I knew he was coming obviously to blitz Mac so I knew that was hot so I have to look fast. I got an open space, man. As much as I'm in open space, I try to take advantage of me being in open space, you know, so shoot, I was in open space right there and I made the most of it.

Q. Your career, just look back, this is the storied history of Alabama players and running backs, you come in as a freshman with an absolute loaded group in front of you. What does it mean to you to end your career here with a National Championship on top, and whatever happens next happens next, that's in the Lord's hands, but when you look at this, just reflect what has it meant to you to be an Alabama football player and just live out your dream here at Alabama?

NAJEE HARRIS: Yeah, like you said, I came here with a loaded backfield. But I didn't really see it as like -- I didn't really see it as a loaded backfield, though. I seen it as like, okay, it's opportunity for me to compete. I love competition, man. Any shape or -- any shape way or fashion, I live competition. I think that's what -- that's what separates me is the way I compete and I thrive off competition.

So when I saw the competition here, I got frustrated because I didn't have the opportunities to show people what I could do when I'm in the game. I felt like I could make a difference. So I didn't have those opportunities until freshman year when they threw me in the Natty -- national championships, and I made the best of my opportunities.

Fast-forward it to sophomore year, I was playing behind two guys and whenever I have opportunities, I made the most of it every time I had the ball.

And then fast-forward to last year, my role on the team started increasing more. And I started getting more game reps, and the more game reps I get, the more experienced I am and the more fast I can play and the more comfortable I can be.

So junior year, I got more comfortable with the scheme and stuff like that. And I didn't like the season I had, truthfully, because a lot of things I lacked. Just looking at my game. So the decision to come back was improving the things that I lacked, and try to show, I guess, other people that, you know, I can play three downs, three-down back. I feel like -- I mean, I don't know, I'm not going drafting, but I feel like I showed people I'm a three-down back: Blocking, passing, running between tackles, running outside zone, all that stuff.

So it's been a long journey. I appreciate all the coaches for helping me along the way. I appreciate Saban, of course. And I appreciate just the 'Bama Nation really for believing in me and cheering me on. It's been a great career here. We done a lot of things outside of football. I've done a lot of things outside of football. And I guess I'll always be a Crimson Tide.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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