Najee Harris talks about the art of hurdling defenders
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Steelers first-round pick Najee Harris has great size at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds for a running back and possesses tremendous athleticism. In high school and college, Harris had a knack for hurdling over defenders and making it look rather easy. He did it so often that there's a rule named after him in California high school football that bans players from hurdling over defenders.
One of Harris' most famous runs at Alabama came against Notre Dame in the College Playoff Football Semifinal game when he bounced a run to the outside and hurdled over Notre Dame cornerback Nick McCloud, which resulted in a 53-yard run.
Below is a 42-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown by Harris against South Carolina in 2019 where he breaks a tackle and hurdles a defender at the end before going in for the score. Harris makes it look so easy.
Harris had a one-on-one interview with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com last week and he was asked about his notorious hurdle move. Harris' mom, Tianna Hicks, doesn't like seeing her son hurdle defenders but mentioned that he has got better at it.
"I didn't know she said that, that I got better at it because she never liked (me hurdling)," Harris said. "Neither did Coach Saban like me hurdling. But, it's more of an instinct thing. I am a bigger back, so defenders tend to go low on me, so I want to have an answer to any situation that I'm in. How I am surviving? I don't know, the grace of God. I don't know how to survive something, to be honest with you. Because when I'm in the air, I'm like, 'Oh, man.' I make sure I get up as high as I can because if I get hit there's going to be a lot of impact on the ground."